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.