The Craig's Hlist family had an emotional time this past week, to say the least. We had to say goodbye to our chihuahua Cholula after 11 years of bright-eyed yapping and begging for scraps and cookies. She had a bad back, which basically rendered her hind legs paralyzed the last week of her life, two cataract-ridden eyes and a tiny heart murmur.
Jimmy Stewart reads "Beau" on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson, 1981
The vet told CHL's younger brother that Cholula wouldn't survive surgery in her state, so he had to make the choice to put her to sleep. We had a oddly mature discussion about it a week ago. It was probably the only one that didn't include a Motorhead or Beavis and Butt-Head reference in there somewhere.
Cholula had been our brother's puppy since he was nine, lying in bed with him while he was sick all the way to riding in his truck when he learned to drive. He's 20 now, making the decision all the more harder. A big piece of his childhood was leaving him.
With only two boys in the house growing up, Cholula was like a little sister. When she went in heat for the first time, we all freaked out. When she broke her leg jumping off a table, we made sure she got a pink cast. On Halloween she got dressed as a princess.
Obviously while this was all happening, Craig's Hlist was tallying in his head what songs he would use for a list such as this. It's what we do for a living. It's a gift and a curse. Somewhere in our brain is a list of songs for every occasion. Here are a few songs about mortality, and losing old friends who just happen to poop in the yard. You would be surprised how hard it is to find songs about chihuahuas passing away, so we fudged a little.
U2, "In A Little While"
We heard once that Joey Ramone played this on his deathbed, and it was the last song the punk icon heard before passing over.
Freddy Fender, "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?"
Somehow Fender could make even the most innocent song sound like a funeral dirge. It's about buying a dog, but it sounds like he's buying a divorce instead.
Johnny Cash, "We'll Meet Again"
Everyone has the dream and hope that after we die that we all get reunited with our loved ones. We don't know for sure, but it sounds like a plan to us.
Bruce Springsteen, "You're Missing"
The biggest part about losing an animal is missing out on the sounds. No barking when you come home, no paws hitting the linoleum, no begging. It's the quiet that bothers you almost as much as the loss.
Nick Cave & Kylie Minogue, "Death Is Not The End"
This cover of a Dylan tune from Down In The Groove shows Cave and Minogue someone coalescing their talents for one blissful session.
Simon & Garfunkel, "Old Friends"
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Even though they can't speak (the way we are used to), dogs have their own language. With Cholula, you could tell when she was bothered or happy by her tail or her eyes. If Craig's Hlist was away from his parent's house too long, she would yap her complaints to me until she got dog treats.
Brian Wilson, "Love and Mercy"
Shortly after we had to put Cholula to sleep, the little brother was talking about never ever wanting another dog. He wants to buy a monkey. Because when a monkey dies it will be easier than a dog?