Alvin sticks out his tongue when he is nervous

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Alvin, the Comforter

I haven't written anything for a few days because I kept getting an error message and couldn't access my page and also because my family suffered a significant loss recently. First, I want to thank the poster who took the time and effort to give me so many ideas of how to fund raise for Camp Cocker. It was frustrating because I could read the comment but I couldn't post an acknowledgment of it before now. They were all such great ideas and once I am more back on my feet I am going to try to use some of the suggestions. Thank you so much!
On Sunday night, my beloved grandma died. She was the one that I used to take my dog, Timmie and also Stevie to visit at the nursing home. She had a stroke on Friday and I was able to be with her nearly 24 hours a day until she died. On Saturday night and most of Sunday I laid next to her in bed and held her. I kept my hand or head on her chest most of the time so that I could feel her heart beat because I knew that soon I would begin missing that sound and wishing that more than anything it would return. I had my head on her chest and was able to hear her last, delicate heart beat. Earlier in the day I had curled her hair and put makeup on her because she would have been very upset had she looked sick while she was dying. After she died, I redid her makeup because it has to last for all eternity. I also knew that she would not be one bit happy if she went to meet Jesus with her hair undone or with no makeup. My grandma and I were always very close and shared a very special, red head, always in trouble bond. I spent most of my childhood saying, "well, grandma would say it's okay," when trying to get out of trouble for whatever lame brained stunt I had managed to pull.
I am writing about my grandma because something very interesting happened with Alvin. As some of you might recall, when Timmie died and I brought him home in the container, I couldn't bury him because it was in the middle of the night. Alvin responded to it by repeatedly making a guttural groans and cries. I noticed at the time how much he responded to me crying. Granted, it was more like loud wailing and was hard to miss, but Alvin had the most concerned look on his face and kept his eyes on me the entire time. Last Sunday afternoon I came home from the hospital to feed them dinner and to spend a few minutes with them. I sat on the floor because I needed the comfort of a dog and knew that Alvin is much more receptive to being touched when I am sitting down. Alvin responded by standing as close to me as he ever has, putting his head in my lap, and letting me pet him all over without backing away even once. He then leaned in and gave me one little kiss on my nose.  It was a marked difference to how he has ever been before, even in his most affectionate moments.
After my grandma died Sunday night, I came home and Alvin was very tuned into me. His eyes never left me. My mom came over a little while later and as you all know, I just don't exist in Alvin's world when she arrives. My mom pointed out that Alvin didn't even look her way and continued to circle around me, while staring at me. Later that night, I started crying again and saw Alvin with such a concerned look again. I put him in bed with me and he rested his chin on me all night long.
Alvin has since gotten over it and is back to "normal". Stevie was oblivious to the whole thing, which was fine. I found it appropriate that a cocker spaniel would be the one to comfort me through my grandma's death because my grandma was the one that started our now three generations of cocker spaniel lovers. She and my grandpa got a cocker named Maggie for my mom and aunts when they were little and the love of cocker spaniels started there.
So, to my grandma! I will love her always!
My grandma dancing at my brother's wedding just two months ago.  She's fist pumping with the best of them!
                      My brother having a chat with one of the most important women in his life.
                                              Our last picture as four generations.

My brother having the last dance with his grandma and me bawling my eyes out in the background.


  1. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing some of her story with us, she sounds like such an amazing lady!

  2. i am so sorry for your loss. i hope memories of the wonderful bond you and your Grandma shared bring you peace and comfort. margaret