October 25, 2012

7 Sloan's Last Trip to Brimham: I'm Calling This One for the Dogs

 If you've got furry kids, or if you're someone with human kids who has friends with furry kids, I'm sure you've taken part in the debate.
Human Kids vs. Dogs/Cats: Which Are Easier/Better?

I've definitely had my turns in this never-ending competition, and, to be honest, I think it's a draw- sure, you can leave dogs at home without a sitter when you run errands, but human kids are also welcome more places (especially in America-land). Human kids grow up too fast? Sure, but knock on wood, you get them in your life a whole lot longer than (an optimistic) 15-18 years. So shut up.  Dogs lick their butts and scoot on the carpet? Human kids do drugs.  (No, not all do, but then, not all dogs scoot, either.)

Anyway, my point is that I think having to leave somewhere they obviously love is harder for pets (dogs specifically in this post) because they don't know it's their last time. 
Friday, September 28, we had our fast shipment packed up and moved out of our house for good.  Between that little pack-out and house-cleaning, we took a late-afternoon break to go to Brimham Rocks (lots of links in the first paragraph of this post) for the last time. Watson (my Element) was scheduled to be cleaned and wait to be shipped the next morning and our National Trust membership expired that Sunday, so it was clearly a "now or never" time. We popped both dogs in the car and, as usual, Sloan got wiggle-butt excited as soon as she recognized the route.  Brimham was fairly empty, which we appreciated.  Both dogs were able to run around, sniffing, chasing, and hurtling through the heather without a care. 

I wanted to get one last picture of the two of them with Nidderdale as their backdrop, but they weren't interested in cooperating!
We moseyed around, both Paul and I walking slower and slower as we took in the beauty of our surroundings as well as the complete joy on Sloan's face. The tears I was fighting began to win, and I told Paul "She doesn't even know. And we have no way to tell her." 

That's a happy tush.
The rain earlier in the day gave us a double rainbow (the second rainbow's barely visible here, but it's to the right of the brighter one). Rainbows and double rainbows aren't uncommon in Great Britain, but that one really hit my heart, and made me smile through my watery eyes. 

We stayed for a while, playing fetch and sitting on rocks as the dogs sniffed puddles and chased imaginary beasties. I wondered out loud if it wasn't better that Sloan didn't know, because then she might not have been so carefree; so every-day in her fun. She was spared the bittersweet that Paul and I were feeling.

I know that Paul and I will see North Yorkshire again, even if it's just for a visit here and there, but common sense tells me that's not likely for Sloan (or Max & Mia).  We're lucky enough to have pictures (hundreds of them, in fact) to help trigger our memories of her favorite place, but I hope that, when Sloan's running in her dreams and kicking me during the night, she's bounding through the thick heather and leaping off the tall rocks at the Brimham in her mind. 


  1. Girl, this may just be one of the sweetest blog posts I've read in a long time. I kinda want to now coordinate a fundraiser to send your k9 back on vacation. ;-) Sometimes I wish I had the carefree and clueless mentality of my pets.

  2. this is so lovely, Gesci. I've been thinking a lot about what happened to Charlie and who he was before we got him. What does he think about being with us now - does he compare it to before? Does he think it might end?

    But one of the most wonderful and joyful things about dogs is that they are so completely of the moment. They take each one as is comes, and find pleasure in anything and everything they can.

    Unfortunately, leaving was probably harder for you than for Sloan!

  3. This is such a beautiful post. I have not been to Brimham Rocks since I was a kid, your pictures remind me of family walks. I'm glad you were all able to get there for one final walk together.

  4. Oh, my gosh. This has me so teary. Often, Husband and I talk about Tolly (our first-adopted who passed away last December). He always wishes that he could have told Tolly why he was at the vet, how we tried to help him, and just that we love him a whole lot. That experience and frustration of not being able to explain a situation has made us even more deliberate in how we physically communicate love to Amelie and Boone.

    This is such a beautiful post, Gesci!

  5. I love Max's face in the first photo - even if he wasn't cooperating. :) on the plus side, there are lots of gorgeous places to take dogs here in the states! and I bet you guys will have a blast getting to explore and discover together.

  6. Awwwe, sniff sniff. Dad, but it's so good they got to have the UK experience w/you guys.

  7. Umm, SAD.
    reading on my phone!! Haha


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