Today. . . 

Today I lost my dog.
Today I lost my dog. The heaviness of this sentence keeps echoing against the walls of my empty chest in utter disbelief. In the silent early hours of this morning, I lay on the hardwood floor of my entryway. She simply couldn’t get up. So I laid down beside her. I tucked my pillow up under her chin, cuddled us both into my favorite blanket and we watched each other breathe. We listened to the sounds of the world around us–a burbling water heater, a furnace kicking on, a car driving down the street–and we just soaked each other in.
Today I lost my dog. When a person is dying, there is talk of bucket lists and wishes lost or come true. Looking into her eyes, it occurred to me that, while my bucket list is the size of a Dicken’s novel, my dog had only ever wanted one thing in life–to be loved by me. To follow me, have my scraps–affection or edible, play with me, walk with me, share my space and time. I spend so much energy believing that fulfillment lies within a great world that I consume at warp speed. She found utter happiness in just being able to love me. Obey me. Catch snips of pie crust and bits of chopped onion that fell from my hands as I cooked. Ride with me in the car and sit by the bath supervising the shaving of my legs. I have eyes for the universe and she only had eyes for me.
Today I lost my dog. And I remembered at the last every word I wanted her to hear. I chanted to her all night about her goodness, her beauty, her lovely soft ears and her verve. I stroked all of her favorite spots until my hands were numb and her fur was wet with my tears and the sweat from my hands. I cooked for her. . . she wouldn’t eat, but I wanted her to know that I could serve her, too. I could comfort her, if she would let me.
Today I lost my dog. And I realized that all of it–even letting me comfort her as she lay dying. It was all for me. Even in dying, she was giving to me. Comforting me. Letting me lie with her and breathe my terrible morning breath on her when she really wanted to be alone. Letting me fawn over her when she felt terrible. Letting me stick her with needles and shove medicine droppers in her mouth.. . all for me. And it’s gone now. The comfort of her is gone. But the loss is only mine. She lived every day in exactly the way that she wanted. In bone chomping, grass rolling, toilet drinking, face licking joy.
Today I lost my dog. And in this life where people come and go and love is fleeting, where friendships end or fade away, the chronic nature of her incessant affection which felt suffocating at times while she lived has ripped a vacant chasm in the fabric of my life. Who will ever love me as well? Love all of my faults and be a silent sounding board for all of my ideas? Who will eat the food that I burn or shuffle in to watch me pee? Who will listen to my outlandish ideas and alternate eyebrow quirks to tell me how interesting I am without interrupting? Who will follow me to the ends of the earth now and remind me that grass is for frolicking and that the sun on your belly is almost heaven on earth?
Today I lost my dog.
Today I lost my dog.

P

About peikleberry

What's to say? I'm a chronic fun seeker and life marrow sucker. I live in an ancient brick house in a darling town with my perfect and tolerant husband, my two amazing teenagers (The Giant and The Ginger) and two blue Danes (Oliver and Periwinkle). A lover of obscure roadside attractions and museums of oddity, I travel, write, laugh, make friends, write letters, sometimes run, eat great food and drink good whiskey. I've never had a bad journey and every single day is my grandest adventure.
This entry was posted in confessions of the Weird and Unashamed, Just Being Me, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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