Driving to my parent’s house today, filled with anxiety. The first time there since it happened. “Shake it off, man. You can handle this,” I say to myself. The radio is playing and I hear the typical road noises all around me, but I can’t help but think…
Pull up to a light and there’s something sticking out of the window in the SUV in front of me. A lamp? A pillow?? Traffic moves and I pull around to see the tongue-wagging face of a Lassie-type dog enjoying the cool breeze. A brief distraction, but only to serve to make the entry into an empty home worse.
This last Tuesday, my best k-9 friend in the world, Rex, went to doggy heaven. He was an older dog, but with lots of life still in him. Unfortunately, he couldn’t see well, hear well, or walk well. Although he did the best he could, his body was giving out on him. I won’t go into the details, but his playfulness was becoming a liability. One that we could not risk. Other options were futile.
Pull into the driveway and sense anxiety rising. Going up the stairs. Unlocking the door. I’m in. I see the dog cage still there. It’s different. No noise. No tail wagging. No jumping up on my knees to say hello. I feel the tears welling up. “Hold it together,” teasing myself.
So I write. Hoping to get it out on paper. Hoping that the empty home doesn’t get the best of me. Hoping this touches someone’s heart who has also lost a dog.
I really miss him. He was such a good dog. He was more than a responsibility. He was a friend, and an unselfish giver of affection. He was a comfort when time were tough and a companion with whom to share the great times. You always knew if he’d been in my car because the windows were covered with slobber. He was the best trained dog we’ve ever had, but that’s not saying much. I will miss him dearly.