Dearest Rachel –
It seems that Daniel and I owe you an apology.
Back not so long ago (and in a time we would dearly love to have back, but you’ve heard it so many times already), we would be watching YouTube in the early evenings. Perhaps one of your Let Players, or one or another history channel like I would enjoy (I think you guys let me have the mouse more often, as I would eventually go off to bed and you could watch what you wanted later). Anyway, almost without fail, you would nod off over your computer between 8 and 10 pm, and…
Well, it didn’t pass unnoticed. Daniel would snap at you – not speaking sharply, which I would not have allowed, I mean actually snapping his fingers to wake you up. I didn’t appreciate that, either, being the occassional victim of those snaps myself, but it would work, eventually. Or I would nudge you and ask, partly in jest, “Are we boring you?” Honestly, I know that the content I favored by its very nature and substance could be a bit dry, no matter how weird or cartoony they might be.
You would always shake yourself and deny it, adding (if you had sufficient wit about you at the moment) “I’m pancake!” – a reference to a moment in your beloved My Little Pony when Twilight Sparkle attempts to convince the rest of the Mane Six that she’s not fallen asleep.
I would always insist that you should at least acknowledge when you were tired and actually go and get some sleep at a more appropriate time, but you insisted in turn that you were now good to go after having catnapped like that, and proceeded to attempt another round of multi-tasking between your Gardens of Time and our videos.
But now that Daniel and I are dealing with the dog, rather than you, I understand what you went through – and why you slept when you did. Because you had to sleep when he did.
I was always asleep when you took him out for the last time each night, and I’m guessing I slept through your dealing with him early in the morning. I could be wrong about the morning, though – these days, I literally cannot take a shower without him whimpering, whining and barking. That never used to be a problem when it was the two of us together. I mean, it’s been over a month since; that’s half a dog year right there. Maybe he’s just getting more and more achey as the days wear on.
Maybe he’s wondering how much longer he has to put up with life until he can go see you again.
So I’ve adapted my schedule to sync with his, which I suppose you’d already done, back in the day. Your ‘fur baby’ needed attention when he needed attention, and you had to be ready.
In fact, last night, it was driven home to me when I woke up to a text at 9 in the evening from Lars, and I had to admit I’d been sleeping for the previous hour or two. He proceeded to let me know that he was the dog and I was the master, and he should adjust his schedule to ours, not the other way around.
Now, Lars is a brilliant guy, and no mistake. But to paraphrase old Bones McCoy, he’s a doctor, not a veterinarian. Letting Chompers complain when something is wrong in his mind only goes so far before you wind up with one or another kind of stain on the carpet – or, in the morning, the entire household awake at one obscene hour or another. He can’t help when he needs to go out (and he really did this morning, so it’s good that Daniel won’t have to deal with so much while I’m in the booth at church for the next five hours), and ignoring his ‘feed me’ demands for too long gets impossible in surprisingly little time.
So… I guess I’m not really the master, and you weren’t the mistress – even though I always referred to you as ‘Mistress’ in his presence. We just have to deal with him as he needs us – and at his age, he really needs us.
One day, he won’t need us anymore, of course, except for us to send him off to you. But until then, we’re going to do what we have to in order to keep him as healthy and comfortable as possible.
And when he does go to you, I want you to know that we did our best for his sake and yours.
Bless you, honey, for all that you did that we never understood until you left us.