I owe it to you, and I owe it to him, to write this. It's been three weeks, somehow-- three weeks of near-constant sad reminders, the empty chair, the lack of yarled or yipped greeting when we arrive home from wherever we've been. Losing a pet isn't like losing a dear though distant relative. Like a grandma. Sure, you'll miss her at Christmas dinner, and Thanksgiving, your heart will be sore for a time. But this emptiness, all the time, the whole house feels quiet and lonely. That is losing a pet.
It was very fast. I guess that's a blessing. Five days before Christmas, he didn't seem like himself. He was having trouble walking again-- a trouble that came and went usually depending on how recently we'd given him a cortisone pill. This time the pills didn't help, though. He wasn't pricking up his ears anymore, really-- they were back, or out to the side: the worried, confused look. Then he stopped eating.
The day before my birthday, we took him in.
Man. That was hard.
I'm not sure if it's a good thing that it was during Christmas. In a way, it was good-- the house was full, we were surrounded by friends. We didn't have to sit in the dark and feel the loneliness.
Ugh. This sadness! Really, I'm okay. I don't spend all day moping around, but every day I think of him. As it should be, I guess. Patrick and I talk about The Good Old Days, we raise our glasses. We talk about getting another dog, soon but not too soon. When the snow melts. When spring comes. And I think about what I'm going to plant under the birch tree, to mark the place. Something variegated and effusive, I think, would suit.
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