On March 17th 1998, my father died. When he died he left behind his ex-wife, my mother, who loved him. He left behind his two biological children, my brother, Neal,and myself, who loved him. He left behind three grandchildren, Kelsey, Taylor and Piper, who loved him. He left behind his second wife, and two-step children who loved him.
He also left behind two dogs who loved him.
When he died he left behind a home with dirty carpets. There was dog hair along the baseboards, on the rugs and on the sofa.
I flew to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada from Tokyo, Japan to visit my father in 1986. It was before he remarried and after he found a stray female German Shepherd dog on the side of the road.
I remember sitting in the living room beside my father, in the home I grew up in, and staring at the baseboards. All along the edge was a thick black line of dog hair.
I don’t remember what my father and I talked about. I remember my displeasure. Why does he even have a dog? Doesn’t he know how to use a vacuum? What a mess. When my mom lived here the carpets were always clean.
Soon it will be Saint Patrick’s day again. It will be sixteen years since I last saw my father alive. Sixteen years since I kissed his forehead and whispered in his ear, “Daddy, it’s Pamela. I love you.” Sixteen years since I held his hand and watched his chest rise and fall and listened to the rattle in his throat while he slowly died in front of me.
And if I could have five more minutes with him today I would whisper, “Daddy, it’s Pamela. I love you. We have a new puppy. Her name is Penny. There is dog hair on the carpet, the sofa and along the baseboards. I have a dog Daddy.”
My father is dead. His dog is dead.
The carpets in his home on Avenue K in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada have been vacuumed. The house was sold and some one else lives there now.
Who cares what your carpets look like when you are dead
What do you value?
Why are you so concerned about how clean your carpets are?
Do not be so concerned with how pretty your carpets looks and forget to live in your home.
Do you worship your carpet?
My carpet is dirty. Five people, two dogs and four cats walk on it. Five days ago a puppy came to live with us. A child said to me, “I want a puppy, but my mom won’t let me have one because we have white carpets.”
And I am sad for the child with white carpets and no puppy.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
― Roger A. Caras
Thank you for reading my story. If you would like to make a comment please share your thoughts. I always love to chat with you.