The Dirty Protester


That’s him – the dirty protester.

The dog staged a dirty protest yesterday, all over my good rug.

Furthermore, I stepped in it, thus trailing shit and its offensive effluvium throughout the rest of the house.

And of course he had to choose that afternoon to defecate indoors; the afternoon that I had invited  a crowd of mummies and their kids to come back to ours to make cookies. My one attempt to prove that I am a fun, interactive and creative parent, scuppered by a dog turd.

He knew he’d done a naughty. He looked at me from beneath his eyebrows, awaiting my reaction.

“Bad dog, Brucie!” I said, scrubbing at the rug as a row of repulsed mummies considered how they might politely tell me they no longer wished their children to make cookies in this shit-smeared midden.

But I forgave the perpetrator almost instantly.

Thing is, we have developed an understanding, he and I. We spend pretty much all of our time together. He was pissed off because I’d been out on a rare shopping day without him. His tiny brain had clearly been working overtime to come up with the worst possible offence in order to serve me right.

Since Mark died, Brucie has been a bed mate, a couch-cuddler, a sounding board, a reason to get out and walk for a mile each morning.

And the other day he showed me an act of compassion which proved he is capable of offering comfort too.

Caught out by an unexpected jag of grief, I found myself crumpled on the floor of my bedroom, howling in pain for my lost love.

The dog flattened himself down on the carpet nearby and watched. He continued his vigil for a couple of minutes, then something compelled him to intervene. He approached me and placed a paw on each of my shoulders. He then licked my eyes and nuzzled his head into my neck. I pulled him closer and we held each other until the moment passed.

He was probably only after a dog biscuit, (in which case – RESULT BRUCE!),  but the gesture merits my forgiveness for the dirty protest all the same.

19 thoughts on “The Dirty Protester

  1. Just to let you know, although I am not a widow your blog helped me yesterday. Met a woman socially yesterday for first time and got chatting. Quite quickly she started telling me about her husband who died 3 years ago – after 47 years of marriage – and how tough she has found it. She in fact spoke a lot like you have in some of your blogs about what its like to lose your partner. She may not know it, but I know that I listened with more understanding and awareness than I would have done if I had not read your blog. So one never knows how we all connect and help each other.

    • How wonderful is that for feedback? This blog was started for precisely that reason Joy – to help my friends to understand some of what I was and am going through. So your comment is very gratifying. Thank you X

  2. I have a Zach or Zachery when he is naughty! he is also like Brucie my bed and couch companion and i’m not sure what i would have done without him in the last 15 months….. Dogs are life saver for us miserable people. xxxx

  3. Oh Lucie. Diesel and brucie are just twins. They are born into a weird world of emotional turmoil they don’t understand. One minute i can be sat playing with him merrily and then lapse into a crying frenZy which he is accepting of now and thinks its daily routine. I’ve had an awful nite tonight with weepin as I’m tired of closing the curtains on a Friday when I come home from work knowing that’s it till Saturday morning. What happened to Friday nights when Ian came home and we went to the pub. I’ve snapped at diesel for no reason. And when I looked for him to make peace he was upstairs on the tiles in the bathroom asleep and he won’t make up with me. Think he’s had enough of my outbursts. I’m going to pull myself together tomorrow …… I say this every night … One day maybe I will. All of this said I did laugh at your blog. Bet u were totally mortified 🙂 xx

    • That’s so right Lynne, these dogs have been dragged kicking and screaming into our world of emotional turmoil, and I think they’re definitely more adept at picking up our sorrow than we think. If Brucie could speak I wouldn’t let him out in public, some of the things he’s witnessed… As for Diesel, he’ll forgive you eventually. That’s another things about dogs – loyal to the end. Love xx

      • Well I (we) have two of the feline variety and as much as i love them they were N’s choice at the rescue home, and I find myself getting so annoyed with them for ordinarily normal things (please let me lay on your lap / please feed me now) that said right at this moment the girl is knitting onto my arm (sharp claws) whilst pushing the laptop away from my lap, and the boy is laying near my feet. Both wanting attention, but being ignored!. That said on my most sad days they do something quite unusual and bring me home presents – its only happened 3 times – the day after N passed, the day I had a totally massive breakdown, and the day i returned from holiday – And people think cats are not loyal!

  4. oh, that dear brucie! so touching the comfort he offered you. I am sure, more than sure – dogs know stuff! and they have a range of emotions that are amazingly adaptable to help us know we are loved and not alone. I have my Sadie-girl dog, who has grieved the loss of hugh in ways that break my heart. at three different times, while walking in the park, I’ve seen her suddenly go stock still and just staring at something. turns out, all three times it was a man – one with the same height and build of hugh. when I end up under a wave of crying and sobbing, and calling out for him, she has to nuzzle herself as close as she can get to me, and rubs her face against mine to try to dry my tears, then puts her head against my chest – as if she’s trying her best to absorb some of my grief-stricken wails and heartache. Sadie sends love to brucie, and tail wags and arfs to keep the dog-love going when you need it. I second her emotions.

    much love and light to you and to brucie,

    Karen XOXO

    • Really??? That’s unbelievable. And brought tears to my eyes. Do dogs grieve then? I guess so. How utterly sad. Brucie sends love back to you guys! (He’s under my desk as I type and told me to say that BTW!!) 😉 XXX

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