It’s been cold and rainy all day. 

I don’t mind it at all, really. In fact, I like the rain. It’s pleasant, cleansing. I don’t even mind the thunder and lightning that has accompanied the showers that have been spending time in Winnipeg for the past several hours. Lightning is really beautiful—it’s the thunder that is leaving me with memories.

I miss my dog: Viper, the world’s best poodle.

Probably not, but he was to me.

Viper hated thunderstorms. I don’t blame him—he’s so tiny and they’re so, well, big and loud and scary. Whenever the first rumble would whisper in the darkening skies, he would make his way under my parents’ bed or under the couch, or on really rare occasions, under my old bed. His heart would race, and he would shake and shake and shake. I couldn’t help but hold him. I wanted to keep him in my arms, slow down his pulse, and let him know how safe he was. I would protect him from the thunder and the rain, and our house would protect him from the lightning. (Technically, the house would also protect him from the rain, but really, I’m trying to be the brave protector of smallish dogs here, so work with me...) Yet despite how smart he was (he really was—I taught him how to play hide and seek, but he was better at playing dead. If he kept wagging his tail, I would ask him if dead dogs wag their tails, and of course he would stop, because they don’t. Clever little pup he was!), he never quite understood that he wasn’t in any danger. Sure, he had a huge vocabulary, but he had serious fear issues. (You should have seen him when the vacuum came out.)

I only hope he wasn’t afraid when he died.

Or rather, was shot.

Yup, good ol’ dad brought out the rifle (he had just reapplied for his hunter’s license for the first time in years with my help. Yup, that’s me—helpful dog killer (not on purpose—I had no idea. I’m like a getaway driver who doesn’t realize that his friends are going in to the bank to rob it—he just thinks they all have business in there, and it’s cold, that’s why they’re all wearing ski masks)). He took Viper out to my aunt’s farm and put himself out of his misery.

By himself, I mean my dad. Both my parents, actually—Viper was really old and peed everywhere! (plus a few other little “accidents”) Not to mention he barked non-stop at everything and was just a pain in the donkey—kind of like kids, right? (I can say that—I was one. Although I didn’t pee everywhere, just the bed for a little longer than most kids…)

In the end, Viper was old and dying anyway. At almost 14, my parents looked into putting him down, but that cost $200! A box of shells only cost about $2. You can see how economics plays in here…Blame it on the recession?

So yes, Viper was “put down”. It was a downer finding that out. It probably would have been easier to handle if I hadn’t read it on Facebook first. But oh well, that’s what social networking is for, right?

In the meantime it’s still raining. More of a drizzle now, though, and I’m OK with that too. It’s helping my lettuce to grow out in the front flower bed. (I live in a townhouse—I don’t have room for a garden) I am still thinking about putting some tomatoes out there, I just don’t know where yet. I guess I could move that really pretty flowery plant that my mom says is a weed. I dunno, I really like it—it just adds so much to the front of the house. Plus it brings out the yellow in my dandelions.
Yes, I have better pictures of the sweet little guy, but he's just so adorable here. My brother was teasing him, but that's what family is for--to piss you off so you pose for really unnatural photos!

OK, here's a better pic. This is the one who would lick away my tears and come for walks at Birds Hill Park and get covered in ticks with me. Oh the memories...

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