What My Bulldog Taught Me About Blips
A Letter From Jane
Last year, I lost my first pet as an adult, my cat Bubba. My partner and I knew he would soon pass over the Rainbow Bridge. He was at least 17 years old. I was still surprised by how hard it hit me. I’m still grieving. I know many of you can relate.
My weekend wanderings took me to a pet store, where (naturally) I had to visit the adoptable cats. Yeah, you guessed it. One of them looked exactly like Bubba. Same coat, same mannerisms, same strange meow croak. The floor was about to turn into an ocean of tears so I had to step away. Since then, I have been keenly aware of my surviving pets’ mortality.
Enter stage left — my fur family:
Bubba the cat (RIP)
Mika the cat (15ish)
Remi the Bulldog (11 in July)
See my bulldog above? He’s a complete @$$h0le. Hear me out.
When he wants something, he barks. It could be anything:
- A squirrel!
- Open the window
- Close the window
- Turn the music down
- Let’s go outside
- Give me pets
- Pay attention to meeee
- Cover me with a blanket
- Change my blankets
- The whole family must be on the couch together
- I see those Twizzlers up there and I want them
- Are you going to eat that?
- Why aren’t you eating? It’s dinner time.
- Delivery is here!
- Let me in.
- Let me out.
- etc, etc, etc
You’re absolutely right if you think I spoil him. The majority of the time, however, he listens to instructions I give him. Even so, he continues to demand. One thing he will never relent on… when it’s time to leave the office. His day ends at 4:30PM apparently. Sometimes at 3PM!
He is barking over and over and over telling me it is time to go downstairs. It’s time to leave the office, mom. His dad will be home soon, so it’s time to move on to the next phase of the day. Just 5 more minutes, I tell him. 30 minutes go by. If I ignore him, he’ll take advantage of the fact that I’m sitting cross-legged in my chair and roll me away from my desk. When you’re trying to meet a deadline, frustration begins bubbling, especially when he begins eating things off the menu to get my attention. 70lbs of annoying, demanding, and enthusiastic presence.
I remind myself that he’s an old geezer. Bulldogs live to be 8-10 years old, and he’s turning 11 this year. He’s on borrowed time. He’s not as spry (And honestly, neither am I. I tried to do a cartwheel a handful of years ago and nearly took myself to the hospital.) He can’t jump like he could before. Stairs are a challenge. He doesn’t always get up to greet me when I enter the room.
My bulldog Remi is a constant reminder of the fleeting nature of life. He reminds me all good things will and must come to an end — including your workday. He helps keep perspective in check; no matter how much I have to do or how tight the deadlines are, it’s important to step away from time-to-time and enjoy life with those closest to us. Life is happening outside of our domes. When 4:30pm rolls around each day, Remi is there barking his reminder for me — it’s time to end the workday and spend quality time with family and friends.
Work will always be there — everything else is a blip.