I just had to say goodbye to my dog.
I’m in that in between state where even though I just spent the past two hours in a cycle of crying and feeling completely indifferent, I still believe that he’ll be there waiting for me when I get home— his tail wagging. Twelve is old for a dog, I guess. I knew his time was getting close. This past summer and fall, I took him for walks almost daily to parks and places that he’d never been before. He loved it. I’m so glad I got to do that with him.. just the two of us.
When I was ten, my brother and I used to beg for a dog. Every holiday and every school essay was about getting a puppy. Now I’m back at that spot again: to be without. My heart aches.
I don’t say what I’m feeling or even show it most of the time. If I’m hurting, I don’t even want to be touched. I like my space… to examine, reflect and move on. Animals get this. You never need words. I have so much love for my friends that I’m so lucky to have, but sometimes you’d swear you’d never know. I’d honestly go to the ends of the earth for any of them, some I have. I’m working on showing it. But animals are easy. Loving them is so simple and so unconditionally easy. They need you, you need them. Give love, get it back. No words required.
I had made sure that my tears had dried up a bit before I went in. The receptionist wasn’t there and I had to stay in the waiting room. A couple was sitting near me with their two dogs and both of them instantly reacted. It didn’t matter that I was holding a stone face, looking straight ahead. No one else would have even noticed me. But they can feel what you’re feeling and know what you need. Less than twenty seconds later, one of them had come over and put his head in my lap, releasing a quiet whine while wagging his tail. I started bawling my eyes out immediately. “Are you here for Buddy?” Of course I am. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.
I held his paw while he died. 08/14/00 - 01/19/12