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A difficult goodbye, and a good movie - The Elephant Forgets — LiveJournal
A difficult goodbye, and a good movie
I don't post personal news much anymore it seems. Not sure why -- laziness, I guess.

Well, this weekend was a sad one. We had to put down our dog, Strider. He was a Black Lab mix, a very big dog, about 80 lbs, very sweet to us but not very tolerant of other people. He was about 10 years old -- we got him (from the pound) the year The Fellowship of the Ring movie came out -- hence the name.

My kids came home from college to be there. Geoff had a traumatic trip -- he missed the train from Warrensburg, MO, about 3 1/2 hours away, so Mary Ann and Melissa ended up driving there to fetch him. (He did catch the train back.) Saturday morning at 10:30 we went to the vet's. Mary Ann didn't go, she didn't think she could take it. It's very stressful, but I felt we owed it to Strider to be with him. They give dogs two shots -- one to make them go to "La-La Land", as the vet put it -- it took about 10 minutes to take effect, then he collapsed on Melissa's lap. Then one more shot to stop his heart (an overdose of barbituates). It was just wrenching to keep petting him and sense that he was gone. And it was horrible to see him lying on the floor ... a waste, almost. And a feeling we had let him down.

Spent the rest of the weekend with the kids, not doing much. They left today to go back to school. So tonight Mary Ann and I, in our usual effort to see as many of the Academy Award nominated movies as we can, saw Winter's Bone. It's set in rural Southern Missouri, just north of the Arkansas border and closish to Springfield. The main character is Ree Dolley, a 17 year old girl whose father has disappeared, apparently having jumped bail. If he doesn't make his court date, they will lose their house and property, a major problem as Ree is raising her brother and sister (aged 12 and 6) and tending for her mentally ill mother, in her father's absence. Her father was a meth cooker, which is why he got in trouble.

The story concerns her search for him, and eventually for his body, as it appears he was killed. It mostly involves confrontations with other members of her extended family, who are mostly all in the meth business, and a scary, nasty, bunch of folks. It's a stark story, rather dismal in its implications, but Ree is a strong character and if anyone in that environment has much of a chance, she would. (Though one senses, despite a modicum of ambiguous success in the movie, her longterm prognosis is mixed at best.) The movie is continually involving, very well acted (Jennifer Lawrence, who played Ree, is up for an Oscar I believe, and John Hawkes, as her uncle, is very fine as well). The music is also wonderful. I think I'm still between The Social Network and True Grit for my personal Best Picture choice, but Winter's Bone would be third on my ballot.


7 comments or Leave a comment
From: dsgood Date: February 21st, 2011 05:17 am (UTC) (Link)
My condolences.
csecooney From: csecooney Date: February 21st, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I still dream about my dog sometimes. Any death of a long-time friend and companion is grievous. I am glad your family was gathered all about; some things are borne best in community.

I don't think it's laziness, you not posting much. "Too busy doing other things that have priority" would, I'd wager, more accurately describe it.

Take care, Rich.
cathica From: cathica Date: February 21st, 2011 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry for the loss of your friend--and the piece of your heart that went with him.
mckitterick From: mckitterick Date: February 21st, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry to hear about your loss.
unrealfred From: unrealfred Date: February 21st, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
My condolences. Our own Lab is getting up there in age, and it's never easy saying goodbye to a loved family pet.
amysisson From: amysisson Date: February 22nd, 2011 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm so sorry about Strider. I'm glad he had such a loving family.
From: ecbatan Date: February 26th, 2011 04:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the kind words, everyone!
7 comments or Leave a comment