It’s been a little more than a week since I decided on a departure plan for Frankie: Wait until November 1 to say good-bye and, in the meantime, spoil him by giving him delicious treats and by not forcing him do anything he doesn’t want to do, such as riding in cars and going for walks in the neighborhood.
Frankie has always marched — or I should say not marched — to the beat of a different drum.
It’s a plan that sounds good in theory but several people expressed concern. Why prolong the pain of saying good-bye, some said. Wouldn’t it be better to just pull the bandage off quickly?
The Long Good-Bye
I can now answer definitely that I don’t feel like I’m prolonging the pain; rather, I’m regaining the joy.
I can — and will — mourn later but I’ll never have another chance to see Frankie bury his little head in the bowl and practically lick off the ceramic because he loves the cheap cat food I’m giving him. And I no longer have to weigh the “good for him to have exercise” argument against the signs of fear when it’s clear I want to put him in the car.
Yes, I’ve been sobbing over him on occasion, but far less frequently than I did when I wasn’t sure whether I was doing right by him. I’m busy trying to figure out the treat du jour. I thank Frankie’s fans on the Will My Dog Hate Me Facebook page for their suggestions. Who knew cat food was doggie crack?
In addition to the Friskies, the treats have so far included Trader Joe’s Cocktail Pups (all beef, all natural, nitrate free, my idea) and cheddar cheese Ruffles (potato chips were the suggestion of Leo, aka Kenzo Hovawart, and not a smart choice, given my propensity for eating 10 or 20 chips to every one that finds its way to Frankie).
But it wasn’t until yesterday that Frankie hit the real dining jackpot. I went to a brunch buffet armed with little plastic bags and filled them with slices of grilled turkey, salmon, prime rib, roast beef and half a Sonoran hot dog (sans toppings). I’m lucky I wasn’t attacked by coyotes when I got out of my car.
The goal is to maximize the joy without incurring intestinal distress and so far, I’m pleased to report, I’ve succeeded.
In fact, Frankie seems to be thriving on this diet — I could swear it’s been improving his memory. But of course there’s far more incentive to find a fast route to the kitchen when roast beef, rather than kibble, might be waiting there for you.