It's been a really hard time since I found her gone, the grief comes and goes but when it hits, it hits like a storm. I don't think there's a moment where I'm not thinking about her or somehow missing her, but I know it will get easier to bear as time passes. And I worry about that a little, like it'll be disloyal not to grieve or feel such a loss. So I'm making a little list of the joys. Not the stories - I won't forget those (nor will you, I'm sure), but the wee things that helped make my time with her so wonderful. If I do someday forget these things, they'll exist somewhere and that's good enough.
Tessa, I miss asking if you want to go into a tent, and the way you burrowed into the covers then nestled into my side. I miss how you'd stand at the side of the bed and hope so strongly that it could change the universe. How you'd get into position so we could lift you up, and how very crazy happy you'd be when you were up there but trying not to show it in case we changed our minds. I miss hearing your breathing and feeling your weight and warmth on the bed with me. I can NOT say I miss your horrific farts but I'd take 10 a day if I could have you back.
I miss the way you'd eat your food like it was about to be taken away or would never ever happen again. Your idea that just coming in from outside warrants not only a treat, but treats. The way you begged without begging, or managed to watch every person that had food, has food or possibly one day could have food. I miss saying Uh Oh when I drop something, and I miss you patrolling the floors for any crumb, real or imaginary. I even miss the lake of water that you'd make when you drink.
I miss the way you smelled like corn chips, and how you'd just fall into a trance while licking. Man, you loved to lick. I miss the sound of you padding across the floor or going up the stairs. I miss having to watch in case you ate the flowers, or sticks, or rocks, or dirt. I miss your wigglebutt, I miss your giving a paw or lying down or lying down all the way. I miss your excitement for everything, seeing people, going out, walking into a new room - it didn't matter, you loved everything. I miss how soft your ears were, and the way you'd sort of bouncy walk, and the way you'd let us know it's time for bed. I miss how happy you were when we got the dog bed for downstairs so you'd be able to stay with us in the evenings, and I miss you not being on your dog bed, watching everything and joining in. I miss you sitting by me on the couch, tucking your feet in under you to be dainty and warm. I miss whistling for you and seeing you bound over from whatever dirteating adventure you were on.
I have never met a dog with such a gentle nature, or such a happy disposition. You were a half-full kinda dog, no matter what. When we watched Cesar or Dogtown, I loved how you wanted to climb in the screen to see the puppies and help them. I miss how gentle you were with Trixie when she was a puppy, and how understanding you were with her as a teen and adult. She is a handful, and you would just roll your eyes and keep on keeping on. I miss, I really really miss how you'd know when I was sad and would just be there beside me letting me know that things go on, and that things would get better.
The night before you died, I think you had a heart attack while we were sleeping. I woke up and knew something was wrong - you were going crazy like it was the worst nightmare ever. I just stroked you and talked to you and calmed you down and brought you out of it. It took a bit, but you settled back into place and slept, warm against me. In the morning, all was well and you wolfed down your breakfast and went out to sniff everything, and we said goodbye when I went to work. Then I came home, went downstairs and opened the door. Trixie barreled outside, and I went with her, thinking you'd be right behind us. There are some moments I will never forget - the one when I knew something was wrong, and the moment when I found you curled up and gone away.
Just remembering it is making it hard to breathe, and Trixie just came over to make sure I'm ok.
I'm sorry I wasn't there when you passed, it must have been frightening and horrible and I hope you weren't in pain. I'm sorry you were alone when it happened. I always told you that I'd always come back, but my timing was off and we missed each other. I'm sorry I didn't give you more cookies, and let you on the bed more, and I wish you were here with me again.
You should know that Trixie the Brat wandered the house for 2 days - every floor, every room. She'd start upstairs, checking and whining and then move her way through the place looking for you. She would end at your dog bed, smell it and then start all over again. When we were out, she'd check the yard, and when we went to the park she'd wait for you to come to the leash before we could go. The only room she didn't go in was the room you died in. I can't go in there either.
Thank you for everything - and I do mean everything. You were an amazing dog, and I feel self-indulgent and stupid even writing this but I can't talk about it at all. There were years and years of good times, and I am so glad that you shared them with me. I'm so sad you won't be here to share our new life when Patrick moves in with us. You would have loved that, I know it. You were always so afraid that you weren't good, but you always were. You were the best.
Good lord, CBC is playing Jane Siberry singing Calling All Angels now. I'm not making it up. Bleah. She also sang a song called Everything Reminds Me Of My Dog. It's true, everything does.
Pictures to come