Loco-Lou-Lou (yes, Jim, I know it should be loca, but you try explaining that to a toddler) is our puppy. If you have read previous posts you are well aware of that by now, but for all you newbies out there she is a little maniac of a dog and my daughter loves her. She loves her to pieces. They might even be soul mates. Anyway, Loco had to spend 24 hours at the veterinarian clinic because she was spayed.
The entire time Loco was gone my daughter looked for her. She looked under the bed, outside, in the bathroom, in the shower stall, and even in the basement. She called her, “Loco,whe awww uuuu?” She asked us, “Loco?” It was just heart breaking. I tried to explain to her that Loco was at the vets getting an operation. I tried to convey that everything was going to be OK and that Loco would be home in the morning. My endless talking would satisfy her for a while, but after some time had passed her search would resume.
It can be very frustrating communicating with a toddler at times. It’s like we are speaking two different languages and I am never certain that she understands what I am saying. This got me thinking about how difficult it must be for her to articulate her sense of loss. Loco was gone and she missed her. She was sad and she couldn’t really share that with anybody. Several months ago our dog Yoda-Booda was run over by our neighbor. She died, but we have plenty of home movies of her playing, rolling around on the floor, and chasing her own tail. To our daughter, Yoda-Booda just went outside and never came back. We will probably never know what Tiny-Small thought or felt because by the time she is able to express herself she probably won’t really remember enough to say anything about it. Now, when she sees Yoda-Booda in our home movies, she asks, “Booda?” I tell her that Booda died, but she has no concept of death. She just looks up at me with her big blue eyes and says, “Dies?” The whole time Loco was gone I feared that our daughter thought she was gone for good. I couldn’t bare to imagine the pain she was enduring silently and alone. She understood that dogs could leave and never come back because she had seen that happen. She didn’t quite grasp that Loco might be gone for only a day, but it was obvious she also couldn’t accept that she was gone for good.
The next morning was one of the happiest reunions I have witnessed in my lifetime. Loco-Lou-Lou came in the front door and ran straight to my daughter. My daughter was screaming “Loco-Loco-Loco!” and then she knelt down and threw her arms around her much missed and adored puppy and buried her face in her fur. She was beaming with happiness. For the rest of the day Loco and my daughter were stuck together like glue. It really is something to see the bond that can develop between a little girl and her dog. It’s a very special relationship and one I am so grateful my daughter gets to partake in. What a lucky little girl and a lucky little puppy. They get to experience true love at such an early age.