How do you capture a broken heart in a blog post? How do you convey the tears that are still unshed and building up behind your eyes? How do you write about a grief so raw?
On 11/2/18, Otis passed away. For those of you that don’t know Otis, he was our beagle. We got him when he was a few days shy of 6 weeks old. I don’t recall why we got him so early, other than I think they were just ready to have those puppies gone. We loved him from the second he was handed to me and nuzzled under my chin whimpering. We had him 15 years. 782 weeks and 4 days that he was on this Earth and that much time that he wormed his way into our hearts and lives.
After he passed, several people said they felt like they knew him from my posts on social media. He was always a source of a funny story or crazy antics. He was a source of amusement to a lot of people. To us he was family. He was the glue that held us together during times we couldn’t get out of bed. He was the laughter in our house when all we had were tears. He was 15 years of routines. He was the constant in our lives. He was our everything.
I have several blog post that I have been trying to get updated and posted. Then this happened and I stalled more than usual. I have started to write this post a million times and haven’t been able to come up with the words. I keep writing about his last week with us, and his last days, and his last minutes. I just can’t get through it. I keep writing about what he meant to us and fall short. So I decided until I can post those things, I will write about some of his antics.
Everyone told me after he died that they knew he crossed the rainbow bridge and was playing like he never played before. I sort of agree. I kind of feel like heaven to our beagle and his mischief soul would be eating things he shouldn’t and not getting in trouble. I was thinking about that the other day and made a list of the things Otis ate while here. So my post today is a tribute to my sweet puppy and the things he ate.
This is not a complete list but the things we could remember. This does not include things that he ate off the floor while we cooked, or dropped while we ate, or the things he ate while in my parents presence that they didn’t report. Reading through this list makes me feel like an irresponsible pet owner. In our defense we always tried to push things to the back of the counter. We always tried to puppy proof the motor home. He was just so patient he would wait on that one slip up to go for the goods. He knew better and we always had to tell him, not yours and don’t eat that. Sometimes he would tell on himself and would come up to us and put his head down and lean into us. Other times he would excitedly jump up and down pawing on us like come look what I did!
- Ham (Stolen off plates, platters, floors, hands).
- Ham biscuits (He stole those when my grandfather passed away. He snuck in the kitchen after someone brought them and took two before I noticed my dad laughing because he knew what he was doing).
- Chocolate Covered Cherries (He snuck those while we were in the motor home at the Charlotte races. They made him really hyper (like psychotic) and he threw up).
- M&Ms (Dark chocolate. Ate those while with my parents. He was so sick. Several after hours calls to the vet. A trip to Walmart at 3 AM. He got a few other M&Ms here and there, some fun packs etc, but never an entire large bag).
- Chocolate Chip Cookies (He snuck one from my purse – left over from lunch. He stole a few off a plate off a counter).
- Ressee Cups (He stole those out of my mom’s purse – it was her emergency chocolate).
- Hersey Kisses (He stole those after our wedding. They were part of our favors. He opened some of them and ate just the chocolate and on some he ate the foil. He pooped foil for a week).
- Hersey Kiss wrappers (He would steal candy wrappers all the time. He loved the foil from Kisses).
- Life savers (He stole these after our wedding too. They were also part of our favors).
- Coffee beans (He opened my brother in laws Christmas gift and ate some coffee. I also had a center piece for a table that had coffee beans. When I would mix them around to make the aroma spread through the room and beans would fall to the ground he would gobble them up).
- Tortillas (My parents went to Sam’s and got the largest size bag of soft tortillas. While unattended in the motor home he grabbed them opened them and ate part of them. He flung the rest of them around the motor home).
- Spaghetti (Same trip as the tortillas – he grabbed the unopened noodles off the counter and had a fun day).
- Gravy (Also in the motor home at the race, he jumped on the counter and licked the gravy spoon and the left over gravy after breakfast).
- Bible (Bought Andy a brand new Bible (The Message) and Otis shredded that thing).
- Norman Rockwell Book (Chewed on the spin of the book. We still have it and laugh each time we see it. Granted Andy was so mad when it first happened).
- Rainbow flip flops (Andy’s pair. Andy was mad).
- Boxers (He always would grab a pair of Andy’s boxers and chew on them. Right out of the laundry hamper or the dryer he didn’t care).
- Socks (This might have been our mistake. His first toy was a sock tied in knots. He loved grabbing socks and chewing on them. It was a challenge to put shoes on around him, when he was a puppy he would attack your feet trying to get the sock).
- Plant (He dug up our “love fern.” Andy gets made when I call our plant that, but I find it hilarious. Watch How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. He pulled it up while he was locked in his crate. He bounced his crate across the kitchen and grabbed the plant and dug it up. Twice).
- 3 crates (He chewed on 3 crates. To the point that we had to have metal welded on, chains applied, and locks attached).
- Towels (Too many to count. When we first started crating him we tried to put them in there so he would have something to lay on. He shredded each and every one).
- Blankets (He destroyed several. He dug a hole in a few while playing with Andy. He also shredded some that we tried putting in his crate).
- Abercrombie Coat Zipper (Andy’s coat. He destroyed the sipper. Luckily the coat is still wearable, but just doesn’t zip).
- Suite Coat (A Christmas gift for Andy from me. Otis ripped the pocket off the coat, making it trash. It was a really expensive suite that was bought with pennies saved at a time we didn’t need to spend that kind of money. I was the most mad about that one).
- Candy wrappers (He would find any and all candy wrappers. Sneak them off the end tables by the couch, out of the trash, if there was a candy wrapper around. He found it and would try to eat it before you noticed).
- Snotty tissues (Yes it is gross. He loved a tissue full of snot. Cold season was his favorite time of year. He would sneak into the bathrooms and look for tasty treats. He would come back wagging his tail with tissue stuck in his teeth. Most of the time we would flush the tissues, put it in the kitchen trash which was in a cabinet, or elevate the small trashcan where he couldn’t reach it).
- Gum (He would get this out of my purse especially if I left him in the car alone. Or he would find it in the car because Andy would leave some in his door some of the time).
- Sour Patch Kids (After the M&M incident mom was more careful with leaving chocolate in her purse. At the race she assured me her purse was puppy safe. After 10 minutes he could sour patch kids in her purse. He loved them).
- Cough drops (He also loved eating cough drops when he could find them usually stolen out of a purse, a coat pocket, the bed, off the dresser).
- Bread (This is not limited to just slices of bread, but entire loafs of bread. He would steal them off the counter and off plates while we were trying to fix sandwiches. He would grab the loaf off the counter and hid in the kitchen eating his loot. He preferred homemade over store bought, but he would eat it all).
- Fried Chicken (He stole dad, mom, and Candy’s left over chicken off the counter and ate it all.
- Hamburger buns (Stolen off the counter)
- Bag of brown sugar (Stolen off the island in the kitchen. I put everything out to bake cookies and ran to answer my phone which was in the living room. Came back and got another bag of sugar out because I didn’t see the other one and thought I hadn’t set it out. I Heard something weird and looked on the other side of the table and his little beagle face was covered in brown sugar. He ripped open the bag and there were clumps of it every where).
- Futon Mattress (He dug several holes in several futon mattresses. It was part of his separation anxiety and his humans didn’t realize what we could do to help at that point in time).
- Soap (He ate an entire bar of soap after we put him on anxiety medicines for his separation anxiety. It gave him the munchies and he ate an entire bar of soap. He was so sick for a day. He puked in the bed twice that night, and was miserable the next day).
- Pizza (He convinced his cousin Haley the dog to get it off the counter – he was still a young puppy and couldn’t reach it. They shared an entire large pizza).
- Carpet (He dug up and chewed the carpet at two houses. Kingsport Hwy house in TN and Clayford Ridge house in NC).
- Door Frames (He ate door frames at 4 houses. Clayford Ridge, Kirkcaldy Lane, Amber Mist Lane, and Kingsport Hwy).
- Window sills (He destroyed several in the Clayford Ridge house and chewed on one at Amber Mist Ln).
- Blinds (He destroyed several sets at Clayford Ridge. We have one set in our house now that has an Otis tooth puncture mark in it).
- Toilet paper rolls (He only did that once, maybe twice. But he shredded an entire roll of toilet paper).
- Magazines (As a puppy he shredded and chewed on a handful of magazines).
- Fried pickles and tater tots (He stole my parents left overs off the counter).
- Finger nails/toe nails (Gross like the tissues, but he would go through the trash and get them out. Makes me gag thinking about it).
- Hair (Technically he wouldn’t seek out the hair, but in digging through the trash could end up eating some).
- Ravioli lid (The week before he died he snuck a lid out of the trash and enjoyed licking it clean. So thankful he didn’t cut his mouth).
- Blue Marker (He turned his white fur blue for a few days until it wore off).
- Glasses case (He got it out of my purse while he was looking for food, and it now has his teeth marks on it).
- Napkins in cars (He loved napkins in cars. He would find them and shred them in the car).
- Treat Jar Lid (My mom got him a nice treat jar with a wooden lid. He got the lid off Andy’s desk and chewed part of the wood off and left his bite marks all over it).
- Electric cord (For a long time he was terrified of cords so we assume he got zapped when he chewed it).
- Water bottles (Or soda bottles. Otis would chew on the lids making them come off. He didn’t care if there was liquid or not, he would still take the lid off and spill stuff everywhere).
- Trash (He absolutely loved going through the trash can. It was like the best scavenger hunt ever).
- Trash (Not in a trash can. If you left a cup on the coffee table and it had ice cream in it, or a yogurt container, of a bowl that had peanuts in it – you better believe he would get it before you cleaned up).
- Trash (One time he drug an entire trash bag into the guest bedroom and hid it so he could go through it later. We put it by the door to take it to the dump. Went outside to pick up trash next to the road to take when we went. We came back inside and the bag was gone. Otis was sitting on the couch looking guilty, but we couldn’t prove anything. We searched the house and couldn’t find it. We gave up, knowing he would lead us to it later. Later that night he snuck off and we heard the rustling of a bag. We went in the guest bedroom and on the other side of the bed partially shoved under the bed was the beagle and a giant trash bag that he was going through).
I know that I am forgetting things. Probably hilarious things. He was a sneaky little critter that wanted to explore the world with his nose. His nose normally led him to something he thought he could eat. He is missed, his antics are missed. I have had a cold and my little trash can of tissues makes me choke up thinking about all the times I had to pick up shredded tissues.