As my last blog post stated, I had to put down our pal and Great Dane Maike two weeks ago because of spleen cancer. Two weeks later, it’s still hard. It’s still difficult to walk into the house and not hear her yawn, or tail knocking into everything in her room. It’s hard not to dodge her bolting through the house or the slobber that came flowing from that girl when she shook.

When I put Maike down, Jovi was in Florida at Disney World. So I was so not looking forward to this moment, when I had to tell her what happened.

When that time came, I told her that Maike got sick and died. Her eyes glazed for a minute. You could see her trying to process. But some of her questions, comments and answers were great…as usual with Jovi.

Here is the list:

So after being told, she immediately came back with, “So when does she come home?” When I told her she wouldn’t be back, and that she was in heaven, her mind went to the next thing.

“Well, we need another pet. A big pet. So I can feed it and walk with it.”

At this point I’m against that.

“Dad, what about a cat?”

(She has no idea about my hatred for cats.)

When I said no, she responded in normal Jovi fashion. “Dad, shhh…listen to me, we…need…another…pet. Another Maike.”

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When we got home, she walked in and caught herself saying, “We’re coming Maike.” I walked with her back to the room where Maike normally would be. Nothing was there anymore. No blankets, food, nothing. She kind of looked at me stunned, like everything I had told her wasn’t true. We had to look in the back yard to show her she wasn’t there. Tears were welling up in my eyes and they started to fall.

Jovi, with a sincere tone looked up…”Daddy, stop crying. You look like a baby.”

Ok then Jovi.

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Jovi found the box of Maike’s remains. It is a big and heavy wooden box. So of course, I had to explain that. Like how do you truly describe that to a 4-year old? I did my best.

Standing there listening intently, she stops me.

Jovi: “Dad, ok I have an idea. What if we get a really really long ladder and put it up to heaven and hit Maike and wake her up and bring her back.”

Me: “Jovi, we can’t. She’s not coming back.”

Jovi: “Well let’s pray and ask God.”

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The other night, a day or so after Jovi returned home, Jovi woke up in the middle of the night and jumped in bed with me. She’s gotten so good at this I don’t even know she does it sometimes.

The next morning, I asked her, “Why did you end up in here last night.”

“Well, I was scared…and, Maike kept barking in the box and kept me awake.”

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And now her new thing when I pick her up from school.

“So, are we going to buy a pet today?”

“Nope.”