Remembering you, 6 months gone

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On the sixth month anniversary of your death, I am practicing remembering your life with gratitude. It is a deliberate choice and it’s hard. It is easy to feel anger at those who abused you but harder to think it’s their loss that they didn’t know what you could become. For me, anyway.

Part of my exercise in deliberate gratitude has been to look at many pictures of your life. They do make me smile. I want to share them with everyone here so they can smile, too, and help me remember how lucky we were that you chose us. Thank you, my golden sweet potato. (And how fitting that the pictures I chose are snow pictures. You loved your snow so much!)

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The night before you became a tripawd, asleep with me in our hotel room. You trusted me completely, and I thank you for that.
The night before you became a tripawd, asleep with me in our hotel room. You trusted me completely, and I thank you for that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Can we have an ampuversary without you?

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Tomorrow is the 2-year milepost on our journey. I have been thinking about it for easily a month, knowing I wanted to write about it here but not really knowing how. I trusted that the words would arrive when the day did, but they really haven’t. I’m kind of at a loss.

Two years on this journey is a very big deal. When you started, you were in fantastic company: Bellona, Lucky, Rio and Bud were in the same week with you. We’ve not seen Bellona or Lucky here for a very long time so we don’t know how they’re doing or if they also crossed the bridge. Rio went ahead of you just before her first year ampuversary. You went 2 months before your second. Bud is here, though. He is holding down the fort and making all the February Furball Family proud. His being here makes it a happy time.

Dakota, I want to let you know the things that have happened in the last couple of months since you left. Evelyn is settling down but she is still confused at night. She is sleeping in her crate in the bedroom. We leave the crate door open and she usually stays there, but not always. She does a fair amount of pacing and searching for unknown things and then goes back to sleep.

The grandpuppy is now on her hands and knees, threatening to crawl. She does a combat crawl at 90 miles per hour and zeroes in on poor Evelyn sometimes. You would have hated this and run for your bed.

We have not had much snow, so you would also not have enjoyed the weather. I’m sorry your last winter with us couldn’t have been filled with the deep stuff you so enjoyed.

Your Boy is still the same, doing his boy thing and growing. Your Man has asked me when I think I might want to take your ashes to the mountains and scatter them around your old hopping grounds. He seemed surprised when I told him I’m not sure I’ll ever want to do that. I wish I knew what you wanted me to do with them, D.

I used to think that when people cry for a loss, they are crying for themselves because of how much they miss the one who’s gone. I’m not so sure I’m right about that, though. I miss you, D, very much–but I’m still very angry that you were cheated out of so much. I am incredibly pissed that you died so young. I realize you were almost 11, but we’ve never lost a dog so young. We were counting on several more years, more time to give to you as a gift. I’m sorry you were cheated. I’m sorry so many here have been cheated. If I could change the rules, I would.

On a happier note, your hated harness is going to a dog in Texas. I hope that’s far enough away for you to feel comfortable. I know you detested the damn thing.

Happy two years, Dakota. I wish you were here to experience it.

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Continue reading “Can we have an ampuversary without you?”

What the dog said

You speak of things I do not know
like “time” and “loss” and “fair.”
You cannot judge my life by yours.
To do so means despair.
 
My time was then and yours is still
and for that I don’t grieve.
It seems appropriate and right
to take what Life did weave.
 
As for loss, I felt it some
but did not dwell upon it.
I’d rather think of what’s to come–
Have faith that I will want it!
 
I do know fair though not like you.
Fairness is intention.
Your love was right and true, thus fair,
without guile or pretension.
 
So if you judge my life, my friend,
make sure you do it rightly.
Like yours, my love was right and true,
so hold it to you tightly.
 
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Dear Dakota,

It’s very late and I should be asleep. Instead, I lay in bed thinking of you and how you left us so very quickly.

I was not ready.

I’m not sure you were, either, regardless of what others may think. I believe you were very tired and weak and grateful that your doctor owns a gurney. I am sure you were relieved that only women were working at the vet’s office Saturday morning.

I was not ready, though.

Was it hard when Dr. B was out of town and you had to see Dr. S, whom you did not know? I thought she was wonderful. She was so tender with you and she seemed to fall in love with you at first sight.

But I still wasn’t ready.

When you were trying so hard to leave me and I was squatting down looking right into your eyes, you were very calm. Oh Dakota, you gave me such a gift with your peace. As hard as this is, it would be unbearable if you’d been afraid. I was so proud of you and how you demonstrated perfect grace to me. Don’t you think it’s ironic how our roles were reversed in your last half hour? You, who’d always been terrified of getting into the car and going through the vet’s door, ended up being the one who was at ease and without fear. I was not as graceful as you, but at least I let you do what you needed to do. I cried, but I did not blubber. I hope you were proud of me. I put my face next to yours and let you breathe me in even as you breathed yourself out. It was the only familiar offering I had to give you. I wish I could have given you more.

And I was not ready.

I did not expect to say goodbye to you on a gurney, early on a Saturday morning, after a wild ride to the vet’s office. I did not expect to say goodbye to you this year. I did not expect you to go so fast. I did not expect you to go.

I was not ready.

 

There’s a right way to babysit, and a wrong way

You know my pack added a hairless bipawd pup over the summer, right?  It belongs to my oldest Boy and his Woman. Ugly little sucker, but so very interesting to sniff! It spends a lot of time here because its parents work, and my Woman doesn’t trust anyone else to watch it. I understand. Anyone else would probably leave it in the woods because sometimes it’s very noisy, and sometimes it’s very dramatic.

I do like to lay near the pup sometimes and watch it. I find it fascinating. I’m not sure why. I’d make a pretty reliable babysitter because I’m not interested in its toys. Evelyn would take them and destroy them. She has a thing for toys. I do not.

So I thought I’d show you the difference in how Evelyn and I are at babysitting. One of us actually watches the baby. The other one is a baby.