Dad here; these are the hardest posts, where any wit or creativity is just a mouthful of ashes. I’m the dad at the Casa del Whackos, and dad’s sometimes have to do the hard things and communicate the bad when I would just as soon retreat inside myself. It first happened with Stevie’s unexplainable death, then with Max and Bull Taco tragic passings. Just a few days ago I was looking through some old pictures, and it struck me that the current cadre of inmates had remained fairly stable over the last two years, but now that spell has been shattered.
Ajax passed this morning at 0400. It began on Thanksgiving Day, when the dogs came stampeding out to greet the kids. Ajax let out a shriek, and I just figured that he had been stepped on by Titus or Claire.
But everything looked fine, until it didn’t. Although there was no sign of trauma, he began having trouble jumping up on the bed, although jumping down was not an issue. Then he would proceed like nothing was the matter, until the next flare up would occur and he would squeal for no reason. No decrease in appetite, no other signs at all, just that occasional unexplained pain.
But then last night, my own words came back to haunt me: “it’s always too soon until it’s too late”. Shortly before bedtime, Ajax began to worsen to the point that I knew I had to take him to the vet this morning, so Mom slept with him in Zach’s old twin bed so that he wouldn’t get jostled by the other inmates. Shortly after midnight, his whining woke me; he had somehow jumped down from his bed and was on the floor beside mine. We spent the rest of our time together right there; Ajax didn’t have the strength or will to even lick my face. This was in itself a tell tale sign of his distress, as his proclivities to licking were second only to Charlie’s.
On the scale of loyalty, Ajax’s was off of the charts. Knowing that I will never wake up to find him attempting to creep up on my chest without waking the other dogs so that he wouldn’t have to share the attention is a knowledge that I don’t even care to acknowledge.
I’m pretty sure that I’m fixing to puke; what is it with me and scruffy-faced little terriers?
RIP, Ajax; a piece of the Casa puzzle is now missing.