Family of Four

People always joke that their pets get neglected pets once their baby arrives, but that didn’t happen for us. While we made a lot of adjustments to our daily life when William was born, we so easily settled into being a family of four.

Tank was my maternity leave side kick, waiting patiently as I strapped William into the baby carrier for our walks and resting his head in my lap while I nursed. He was our constant shadow, and we made sure to include him in all of the routines we established with our son. We put his dog bed next to the high chair and bought a new one for the nursery. We made sure the stroller was well stocked with dog bags. We never passed by him snoozing on the couch without petting his rabbit-soft ears.

We said goodbye to Tank this week. Despite the oncologist visits, the pills, so many pills, the trips downstairs first thing in the morning and last thing before bed, the blood and urine stains on our furniture that mark his illness, it still took us by surprise. I’d go through all of the cancer treatment again just to get one more chance to kiss his velvety nose and feel the weight of his head on my ankles while drifting off to sleep at night.

I can’t fathom us no longer being a family of four. William is too young to know the hole in our family with Tank gone, but I’m going to make sure he never forgets his brother. Since his passing, so many people have reached out saying what a sweet soul he was and how lucky he was to have us. That is where they are wrong. It was us who were the lucky ones to have Tank as our dog.

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