Dad and Diane lost their beloved dog Cab (Cabernet) today. This is a picture of him from earlier this summer. He was a faithful companion to them for many years, and he is preceded in death by his brother Nelson. I'm sure they are in doggy-Heaven right now running around and bickering up a storm.
Jackson learned an appreciation for dogs from his interactions with Cab this summer. Though once a fairly hyper pup, Cab calmed down a great deal in the past couple of years. And this past August he allowed the boys to get up close to him, licking their hands and tolerating their possibly-too-aggressive petting. Jackson hasn't been around a lot of dogs, and Shawn and I are not pet people in general, so the boys haven't been exposed to a lot of dogs. Jackson has been intimidated by them in the past. But half an hour with Cab this summer changed his tune. I wouldn't say he's begging us for a pet or anything, but he doesn't run screaming every time he sees a dog now. He learned to allow a dog to sniff his hand first, and give a gentle pat. He reminds me often that he is no longer scared of dogs anymore. All thanks to Cab's immense patience. That's something right there.
I explained to Jackson today that Cab had passed away. It was confusing to him, and saddening. I teared up just explaining it to him. He asked me if Cab would ever move again and I said no, he was no longer living, but Cab would live in his heart always as long as he remembered him. We talked about the gift Cab gave to Jackson - teaching him to not be afraid of dogs. And Jackson smiled at that memory. But there was definitely an understanding of loss in his eyes, and he told his Daddy he was sad about it before bed tonight.
I'm sure Dad and Di are feeling a tremendous loss tonight, and I give them all my love and virtual hugs. Thank you Cabernet for your many gifts. You will be missed.