Column: Morning good-byes are painful

I like to think I’d have made a good parent.

And sometimes, I admit, it makes me sad that I’ve not had children of my own. But then I eye the sad look on my dog’s face each morning when I get ready to leave for work. And I’m not so certain I could handle being a parent.

My heart breaks each time I leave the house in the morning. And now, I don’t know if I could tear myself away from my own child on a daily basis.

I blame Beatrix. She’s a pup with lots of personality and a great smile.

Beatrix smiles a lot.

When she sees someone she knows her tail starts wagging and she gets a huge smile on her face. She loves people, well most people. It usually takes a few minutes for her to make up with strangers, but once she is convinced they are not there to harm me, her tail starts wagging and she cannot get enough attention from her new friend.

Right now, she has a UTI, so I took a sample to the Galion Veterinary Hospital on Monday. Beatrix loves riding in my truck, so I took her with me. She jumps right out of that truck and heads to the office door, a lot faster than I do. Beatrix loves everyone at Dr. Parr’s office, despite the fact she’s had surgery twice twice, or maybe three times.

But they lap up her attention, and she loves it.

Beatrix also is a fantastic hugger. I know, she will jump on my lap and put her head on my chest or next to my head on my shoulder when she needs to go outside.

Still, a hug’s a hug, no matter if it’s only because she has a full bladder.

But then in the morning, everything changes.

Our routine is pretty simple. We go outside around 6 a.m. or so, so she can empty her bladder. That’s what triggered me to her possible UTI, typically she’s good from 9 p.m. until we get up and moving the next morning.

But on Sunday night/Monday morning, she was whining to get out at 11 p.m., 1:15 a.m. and 4 a.m. So about 9:30 a.m. Monday, I followed her around with a plastic sandwich container and when she squatted, I was right behind her to capture a sample for Dr. Parr.

Hence, her latest UTI diagnosis.

Anyway, when I start getting dressed each morning, Beatrix knows the inevitable will soon follow. After I’m dressed, I pack up my computer bags and get my lunch ready, and then Miss B and I go for our second walk. This time, she takes care of all her business. Typically, when we get back from walks, she gets a little treat, say a sweet potato biscuit. She eagerly grabs it and runs into the TV room to that spot on the floor where she does her best chewing and gnawing.

But on work mornings, I can give her a biscuit, and she drops in on the floor. Her favorite treat is a rawhide chew. On workday mornings, she’ll not even open her mouth. She just looks at me with her big eyes … and my heart breaks.

Once in a while, she may not realize I’m going to work and she’ll take her rawhide treat into the TV room and start eating it. But as soon as she figures out I’m packing my things to leave, she drops her treat on the floor and lays down on her favorite sofa. She’ll ignore me until I come in and tell her I’m ready to leave. And even then she won’t even get off the couch. She just looks at me, with her big sad eyes, like she is ready to cry.

I know it’s her anxiety, and I’m told as she gets older, this could get worse.

She definitely has separation anxiety. And now, so do I,

But as soon as I get to the office and start answering emails or writing something, I forget about Beatrix for a while.

I can do that, because I know I’ll be home in a few hours.

I’m told that a lot of dogs don’t understand that kind of timeline. What they do know is that I left, and until I come back, Beatrix doesn’t know I’m coming back. Her owners abandoned her before. I don’t know if she remembers that, but man, my heart breaks each morning with the look she gives me.

When I get home, there she is, on that same couch. Her rawhide chew hasn’t been touched.

But once we go for a quick walk, and she’s back at home, with me by her side, the first thing she does it head for that chew. And with her tail wagging, she’ll finish that sucker in no time, as if she doesn’t have a care in the world.

Now, back to my not having children of my own.

As hard as it is sometimes is to leave Beatrix in the morning, I think if I had ‘human’ children, I’d have to be a stay-at-home dad. I don’t know that I could handle that sad, lonely look from a child.

So, for all you mothers and fathers out there who have to leave for work in the morning, I feel for you. I know it cannot be easy.

Russ Kent | Galion Inquirer Beatrix when I go to work. Russ Kent | Galion Inquirer Beatrix when I get home from work. Kent | Galion Inquirer Beatrix when I go to work. Russ Kent | Galion Inquirer Beatrix when I get home from work.


Russ Kent

Galion Inquirer



Russ Kent is editor of the Galion Inquirer. Email him at