My dog died.
There are no pretty words to say about a death and my emotions are still raw. Certainly, I knew that Jack wouldn’t live forever but I suppose the suddenness of his death has thrown me and my family for a loop. He showed no signs of sickness although he did show his age of eleven years, with his graying hair and occasional yelping from what we believed was arthritis pain.
He was just barking at his arch nemesis, the vacuum cleaner, the day before. He had all his faculties; the sound of a deli wrapper could be heard from any point in the house. He joined me in the kitchen as I made the kids their grilled cheese for dinner, always patiently waiting for the slice he eventually knew was coming his way.
But on Friday, he was ill at ease. He paced the house, looking to all his regular spots to get comfortable. My husband and I fretted, not knowing what to do for our oldest baby. Eventually we decided that we’d bring him to the vet the following day.
I spent the night sleeping on the floor with him; my blanket was a favorite of his and it seemed to comfort him for awhile. At 4:30am we awoke to his labored breathing and realized that he could no longer walk. I carried him down the steps, crying and telling him that he was the best dog and how much we loved him. He licked my face, one last time, and Jay brought him to the emergency vet.
Within an hour, his heart stopped beating. Jay was with him as he took his last breaths.
My family is devastated. I know that’s a strong word but there’s really no other to explain how we feel. We miss our best buddy, our healer, our protector from possums (but not steps, thunder, lightning or bees), our first “kid” and our “big brother”. We miss our pack member, who placed himself just below the kids in order of rank, but grumped about it on the regular.
The house is quiet. Too quiet. I write while all family members are at their respective places when they aren’t smashed into our 1600 square foot home. When they are here, I can’t think straight. When they are gone, I can’t stop thinking.
I can’t stop thinking I see Jack out of the corner of my eye or hear his feet gently padding the floor.
I’ve continued with my streak, getting my miles in, even though right now I’d be lying if I said it was anything more than just going through the motions. My mind wanders to wondering if there was something more we could have done or if we could have seen this coming any earlier than we did. I cry randomly for no other reason than I miss him.
I’m sad and miss my friend.
I know it will get easier eventually.
But not yet.