Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The day you died...

I saw someone that looked like you the other day. It seemed like I was looking at a twin. As I moved that direction, instinctively, I thought I would be fine. Say hello even. Remark on the similarities. Think about you. But as I got within a few feet, I realized only too late that I was not fine at all. And instead of having this great moment swathed in your memory, I started to cry in the immediate vicinity of a several complete strangers. I certainly can be tough, but I have such a soft spot for you and all the memories reverberating from a single thought of you. I quickly explained I was terribly sorry. But I had this impression I would be calm, if not delighted to see the resemblance but it became just another moment of realization that I seem to be having trouble getting over you. Or more specifically, getting over your absence.

The day started out as days in our house do, busy with movement, voices, laughter. My entire family was in town for a huge party we were hosting. JMac took you out for a morning run, yet when you returned, you were still fired up and playful. I took you out in the yard and played soccer ball with you and laughed as I watched you leap like a little deer as you chased it. I had no reason to think this morning would be any different than the roughly 2,500 other mornings we had spent together.

But something shifted, and then slid. And you went from fully living to dying right in front of my eyes. I tried to keep my voice calm as I opened the downstairs back door and yelled to John. He ran downstairs because the panic in my voice was enough to make him hurry.  And I faltered between staying with you and making a call to someone who could tell me how to fix the situation.

And I called the vet who asked me to bring you in and when I ran back to your furry body, John shielded me from you. And somehow even though I knew, I could not begin to accept it. And there it was, an ordinary morning gone terribly sideways. 


I think the saddest part of all is not that we lost you, but that I don't have you now. Now when MiniMac would try to ride you around like a circus animal. Or now when you would kick your tiny heels up in delight over the inordinate amount of our child's food that somehow still makes it to the floor. Or that the air outside is perfect for long runs and walks at the park. And that you aren't here for MiniMac to love. Because he still talks about you. And how you live in heaven. And that when he was a baby, you certainly loved to give him kisses. Most significant in our loss is the fact that you were by far the sassiest, liveliest dog a girl could have asked for. Oh, you were sassy. And by the way, you were a big traitor too. You were mine and the minute you met JMac, well, you basically realigned your allegiance. And reinforced it daily. 


I miss you. I think I am over you and clearly, I am not. Maybe I won't be. Maybe I won't reach a place where I can think of you and laugh about the time you ate your own poop. Or, I do laugh about that and then my word, I still cry. You were beautiful and perfect. And sassy. And a back talker. But I loved that about you. And I understood why people get a new pet so soon after they lose one. Because there was a giant chasm where your lithe body wagged. But I want someone who not only looks like you, but someone who acts just like you. MiniMac asked me over the weekend when we were "getting you back" and I wish I had an answer.

The day you died was a really hard day. But a day I realized the extent that I was capable of loving. And losing.

The only thing I regret (besides the incident in which you ate your own poop which had grave consequences for both of us) was that when MM was born, I wouldn't let you sleep in our bed anymore. Although, MANY times when I was getting ready for bed and JMac was already in bed, somehow you would end up there too which you and JMac feigned big surprise like HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

But  now, I realize, that your cuddly, sweetness was only mine on loan. And I would have made a permanent place for you.

I don't regret loving you. I only regret that I was incapable of giving you bionic or supernatural powers. Or a drink from the fountain of youth so I could still have you here with us. With your velvety head, perfect for kisses. And your sassy mouth.And a girl like me deserves nothing but a sassy dame like you.

33 comments:

carma said...

So sad.....hopefully your little guy is dealing with the loss OK

singedwingangel said...

OH man she is beautiful and I am so sorry for the loss. It is so hard when we lose a furbaby that is so close. I lost our furbaby Duke this winter and my heart shattered into a million pieces. He was a back talker as well and a month before he was killed we had video taped him pouting and sassing because the neighbor dog was in heat and we wouldn't let him out to her. He sassed and cried for 5 minutes

Herding Cats said...

This made me cry. My family lost our two cocker spaniels this past year (one from cancer and the other from a broken heart). It has not been easy going to my parents and not being greeted by them. My mom did end up getting a puppy a few months back. He's a joy, but it will never be the same. Hang in there. I'm really sorry. :(

vanilla said...

Beatiful paean to your loved one and your love for her.

AmyLK said...

I'm so sorry. Its hard to loose a loved one. She was beautiful!

Aunt Crazy said...

Our pets become family members and the grief we feel for them is overwhelming. I'm sorry for your loss!!!

Eva Gallant said...

Sso sorry for your loss. This was a beautiful, if sad, post.

TKW said...

What a touching tribute to your sweet companion. ((you))

Ed said...

Sorry for your loss.

Losing an animal can be tough. They are often like a furry family member. Like that hairy uncle that gives you the same strange present year after year, only much cooler than that. Hell, sometimes you'd rather that hairy uncle died than the pet. I hate you Uncle Mike! I don't need another portable windup flashlight/radio/television combo!I forgot what point I was trying to make.

Like I said, sorry for your loss.

Marcy said...

That was beautiful Jen. i thought i knew how much she meant to you...but now I certainly do. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful girl. Love ya.

Justagirl said...

JennyMac - this made me cry too! Pets are such a wonder to our children and our own lives. We always had pets at the Mitchell house and I can't imagine being without.

Just three months ago, I inherited a boxer and even tho she was quite destructive at first, we all agree, she is the most loving, silly, wiggly-butt dog we have ever seen. My son tries to ride her as well.

I think in your home full of love and light that any new puppy will gain the fabulous personality of your late angel.

Keep us posted!

XOXO - Lexi

Marcia said...

Now that I have stopped crying I just wanted to say how sorry I am for the lost of Nixon. I still remember the day we were out playing tennis and you said you wanted a dog. Now I understand and I truly feel your pain. We lost Molly last year to cancer and Codey will be 4 in Sept. and I just want to stop the clock. just the thought of not having Codey makes me sick to my stomach. When it's time to get a new dog you will know it but no one will ever replace the love you have for Nixon.

Cynthia said...

ohhhhhhhh......
I am so sorry. What a difficult loss. Hugs for you.

Big Fat Gini said...

Such a beautiful tribute. I'm so sorry for your loss...

Kristina P. said...

I thought that this was somehow going to be a post to Bin Laden.

I was sad to find out it wasn't. :( So sorry.

Jessica-Lauren said...

hun, this post put me in tears... I totally understand what you are feeling... I had to put my beautiful angel down on November 28, I will never forget that day, the guilt, that sadness, the horrible loss... always hurts... but each day I deal with it.. not many people know what its like to lose a dog, they really touch a special, untouched spot in a person, no wait A WHOLE families, life.... Youre dog was so sweet and beautiful too, I am literally in tears for you, I wonder each day what I should do, get a nother dog or not... I loved my dog to peices I had her since i was 11 and now im 22.. she was my baby and my best friend... its soo so hard, you blog really showed me that I can relate to somoene.. that there are people who truly value a dogs life just as much as a human beings... I blogged about my sweet dog too.. it helps, I look back at it often... may your sweet pup rest in peace, and feel better... you will learn to cope with it in time and you will feel better by gaining comfort that your sweet pup is not resting peacefully.... " if you havent loved a god, a part of ones soul as never been awaken"

I have a really nice poem made for dogs that have passed on my blog if you like to check it out its under the subheading called (Nika, a special dog)


have a good one:) and smile !

Intense Guy said...

*Hugs*

As much as we want to "fix the situation" there isn't a way. A dog gives their love without condition and would want you to know they don't want you unhappy - especially over them.

The best way to honor them - outside of writing a tribute as marvelous as this one - is to remember the smiles they put on your face, because that is what they want to do.

Pricilla said...

All I can offer is goat hugs. I have lost more furry friends than I care to count. They pass through giving us hairballs and love and asking for not much more than some hugs and pets.

So. Cal. Gal said...

What a sweet-looking pup! I still think about my sweet Charlie, a Cockapoo, who was killed by a car when I was 17.

You never forget, but someday you'll remember with a smile.

B.o.B. said...

Oh man, this was a sweet and sad post Jennie. I'm sorry you are missing your lovely lady. I'm sure she had a great time and doesn't regret giving up her spot on the bed for the baby at all. She knew he needed it to grow, just as she did as a pup. Hugs.

Laoch of Chicago said...

Very sorrowful.

heather said...

I've done the same thing.

Sorry for the loss.

webb said...

So very sorry for your loss. A dog can fill a special place in our hearts, and no matter how many more you own each will always fill his/her own place. And, it takes a long time to get over it. I am typing thru tears and ours have been dead more than five years already.

Hugs.

Bouncin' Barb said...

That was so beautifully written. Even though it is sad, it's also very happy. He was lucky to have you and vice versa.

Anonymous said...

Crying my eyes out. You are such a gifted writer!

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for sharing your sorrow, and my prayers are with you all. I hope you all continue to treasure the times that you spent.

With me, losing a trusted k-9 friend and then having to tell my old Marine father that the dog he and mom (she died a short while later) had picked for me as a birthday gift 13 years before was no more, had to be one of the more difficult things I have done.

Tumbleweed said...

What a fitting tribute to that wiggley little mutt (I mean that in the NICEST way possible!!) Seems to me I remember being the referee between her and little miss Josie as Josie was trying to drag that little tiny body (that was ALL nose and ALL legs) around Mom's rec room. Oh, and the late night visits she made to me whilst sleeping on your (or better put HER!) couch!! And the full-on dog hugs she would give me when I came to visit! I really loved that cute little bedspring of a dog...but nowhere near as much as you!! I really love that little black vaccum cleaner/floorsweeper named Josie as well...both of those two sweet little ladies are very much missed by me...every DAY. Cherished memories...irreplaceable parts of the family.

Thanks for giving us a little of your heart and soul on this one...really fantastic writing about a special little girl!!

Love to You -
TW

Hookin It With Mr. Lick Lick said...

Tears of remembrance for me too JennyMac. I've had to put down two babies who brought me through my darkest days when I moved to GA. I still cry when I think about them, wishing they were still here. I have their son, who I inherited when my bestie passed away two years ago. He's 13 and I know my time with him is growing short too. I'm not looking forward to that day when I lose him too.


Our fur babies love us unconditionally and leave a big void in our hearts when they go. I'm sorry for your loss and know all too well how you are feeling. Huge hugs. xoxo

Kir said...

OH my heart..and your poor puppy and your heart. I am not always the loving mommy of Fenton, since I didn't really want him, but I know that if something happens to him, I'll be destroyed.

This post made me realize how much I really do love Fenton, how much he is a part of our family and what memories I have now tied to how he interacts with the boys.

I am just so sorry for you loss. So sorry. HUGS

Steph said...

I'm so sorry Jenny. Boxers are one the sweetest breeds out there. We lost ours to degeneration of the spine and had to put him to sleep about 2 years ago. I still get choked up thinking about that big lug.

Someone sent this poem to me when we lost our pup and I thought I would share...

THE RAINBOW BRIDGE POEM


When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

Maria said...

Thinking of you, knowing all too well the pain of losing your first "child." Hoping you feel more like yourself soon...

Grand Pooba said...

Oh my god I am so sorry! I lost my Great Dane last year and my Mastiff the year before that, it is so sad and will take some time to heal.

Thinking of you!

SmartBear said...

SO sorry for your loss. I grew up with a fawn colored boxer...quite similar to these photos actually but her ears were cropped. Best damn dog ever. She followed me everywhere. She died my senior year of high school and I still miss her.
Best,
Tina