Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Jonah Syndrome

(Borrowed from one of Tina's blogs of which I am a contributor, since she hasn't been using it for many months.)

Something brought to mind the sad fate of one of our pets, back when Damon and Tiggy were very small, and Devon was still in the oven.

So shortly after the turn of the century, we had this adorable little black dog named Jonah. She, yes she, looked like a whippet, but I have no clue what she actually was. She was the fastest, wiggliest little thing you could imagine, with a white star on her chest. We all loved Jonah.

Then, while the kids and I were gone on a trip, she came up missing. The kids were sad for a day or two, but life went on and we got another dog. However, for YEARS afterward, whenever Damon became upset about something else, he would wail, "I MISS JONAH!!!!!!!!" That became his excuse basket to put every bad and sad feeling for years. No, he wasn't upset because someone called him names. He just missed Jonah. No, he wasn't upset because he got in trouble. He just missed Jonah. No, he wasn't crying because he fell down and skinned his forehead. He just missed Jonah.

It was a long time before the kids found out what happened, but Jack and I had a pretty good idea from the start. Shortly after we got back from the trip, a horrible smell began emanating from under the house on one side, where a vent cover was missing. For a month or two I couldn't even go out there, pregnant and very sensitive to bad smells as I was.

For some reason I couldn't get Jack to go under the house, either. We just figured it would go away eventually, and it did. Very eventually.

Later, Buster, a huge naughty dog that destroyed and ate everything in sight, managed to squeeze his bulk under the house somehow, and clawed up the walls pretty good before he got back out.

Several years after that, a heater duct repair guy found Jonah's bones, just as we suspected. "It was horrible," he said with a catch in his voice, "there were claw marks all over where the poor thing tried to get out."

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