Wednesday, April 16, 2014

the Easter Dog.

Remember my parents’ black lab, Shadow?

He was the sweetest, happiest dog that I’ve ever met. All he wanted was to be where you were, and he’d love you forever if you scratched his belly.

Shadow died this past November. The first time I came to my parents’ house after Shadow was gone was strange. It was the first time in more than six years that I hadn’t been greeted by a drooly black lab with a thumping tail.

This Easter promises to be just as strange as the first time I came home and there was no dog waiting at my car door. Why’s that? Because of the Easter Dog.
It was Easter 2010, and for some reason, we got the hare-brained (HA!) idea to put a set of rabbit ears on the dog. My sister was stationed in Arizona with the Air Force, and it was her first Easter away from home. We thought that taking a goofy picture with Shadow (whose forte was goofy pictures) would lift Darrah’s spirits.

So we dug an old headband out of the closet, fashioned some rabbit ears out of construction paper and glue, and taped them to the headband. We had a hard time keeping them on the dog – not because they bothered him, but because he was JUST SO EXCITED that we were there that he couldn’t hold still. Story of his life. Mom manned the camera and got a bazillion pictures of our struggles with Shadow and his ears, and sure enough, they made Darrah laugh.
The following Easter rolled around, and we’d had so much fun with Easter Dog 2010 that we decided to do it again. That year, we tried to get Shadow to hold an Easter basket, which proved to be damn near impossible. He loved to sit up on his butt and beg, but he was much more interested in slobbering on the plastic Easter eggs than posing with them.
Easter 2012 found us repurposing the old black headband – this time, with flowers. I dug around in my old room to find silk flowers, which I proceeded to glue all over the headband. This was the most labor-intensive Easter Dog headgear, but it looked appropriately ridiculous.
(November 2012 saw the first Turkey Dog, but we’re talking about Easter here. Moving along.)
For Easter 2013, we stuck with the flowers and made Shadow into a sunflower. It was a FREEZING cold Easter day – 2013 was the year of the April ice storm, and it sucked – but we braved the frigid wind (and Shadow braved another year of our antics) to get our annual picture.
Now, Easter 2014 is upon us, and Shadow is no longer around to let us put silly Easter things on him. It will be really strange – it turned into a great Easter tradition (and Shadow, like a true black lab, loved the attention), but it’s a tradition that will have to be put on hold for now.

If our cat wasn’t such a bitey jerk, Easter Cat could be a new tradition, but nobody wants stitches for Easter.
Thanks, but no thanks.

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