Tag Archives: lost

My Best Friend: 2 Days and 22 Hours

It is almost one month since I put Claddagh down.

That phrase is so gross to me; “Put them down.”

My dog was already a submissive… she was “put down” in many ways in her early life.  I am still disgusted at it all.

But, you know what?  I will only talk about it here.  I bombarded FB for the first two weeks with my pain… and now in modern decorum I will pretend it doesn’t rip me apart on the inside.  Oh, geez, am I following the steps of my forefathers, who chose to sweep inconvenient truths under the proverbial rug?

People don’t know how to mourn, these days.  Our fast paced society urges us to “get over it and move on” as quickly as possible.  We treat ourselves like processed food with defined expiration dates that serve as suggestions.  You might be cool eating an out of date yogurt at your own house, but if a host of some other house offers the same thing, you cringe.

“Keep it in house.”

See, I don’t feel like I am allowed to mourn my dog companion for more than a couple of weeks.  It isn’t allowed to break me, because their life expectancy is so much shorter than ours, and I should have known better.

I don’t feel like I can allow Claddagh to be the portal in which my previous pain, loss and suffering is filtered through.  I just don’t feel like I have permission to fully feel, even though people say “take your time” and “feel it fully.”

I don’t feel permission because I am always trying to integrate and get along, and no one likes a Debby Downer, or a Miserable Mandie.  I don’t feel permission because the extent of the pain is mine, alone to bare.

After day three, I told myself, “You HAVE to stop crying.  You HAVE to buck up.  No one cares as much as you do about it, and no one wants to hear about it.”

If you make it a mantra, I guess it makes it easier to adhere to, just through repetition.

If left to my own devices, I look out the door and say “All I really want is my dog.”  And I imagine what that looks like, only to further upset the state of my heart.

Honestly, I don’t care if I upset you if I end up crying in reminiscence of my dog; but because I am empathetic, and I know you don’t want to hear it, I will self censor.  I am not looking for your pity or sympathy…. I know you don’t know exactly what to say and it may be uncomfortable for you, that every topic you excavate leads back to me and my dog.

I am sure it is annoying, or at least uncomfortable.

I’m sorry, but I’m not.

I suppose if you don’t know what to do in the awkwardness, just smile.  Know that I experienced a facet of love in life that I would have otherwise avoided, and that in and of itself, is bound to make me a better person in the long run.

I know she wasn’t as interesting to you, as she was meaningful and profound to me, and that is okay… but try not to sweep her memory away in your urgency to bring me back to whatever you feel is your self perceived center.  I will take my time, and I require no rush on your end, for it will not bring any benefit.

She was “my girl”, ya know?  I don’t even know if I am allowed to use the same distinct whistle if I find a new dog friend… I feel bad for chiding my cats with her same belly rub rhyme.   Things are flowing into each other with my other animal friends,  where it once was distinct and individual.

And I liked that, ya know?  When her whistle was our whistle and not like any of the other whistles that were common for the other animals we mutually knew.

I kinda wish I got a Chilton manual on how to deal with this,or a “When your Dog Dies for Dummies” book,  even though I know, internally all I need to know.

Life cycles are beautiful, until you see the shame in loss.  My dog should have lived forever… I mean, that is how I feel. I never thought about getting another one, even though at times I thought about re-homing her due to my own personality flaws.

I’m looking at rescue dogs, trying to find a face I recognize.  Not Claddaghs’ face, per say… just a face that feels familiar in the rustic part of my being that is perfectly adapted to animal companionship.  I know it will happen when it is meant to… if it is meant to.

No worries here.  I just miss her so damn much and rightly so.

 

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My Best Friend: Just When I Was Getting Comfortable

I felt sick as a dog on the night of September 11th.  I was waking up hourly to empty my liquid bowels.  Standing up made me nauseous and I was afraid I was going to shit down my own legs.  I figured maybe it was one of the eggs I put into my dinner omelet.

The cats weren’t helping.  They wanted to lay on my stomach, causing me more discomfort.  I just wanted to sleep it off.

The 11th rolled into the 12, and I tried to go about my normal routine, but I wasn’t feeling normal at all.  My uncle came over to help out my grandma and I tried to sleep the day away, but was reawakened every hour or two by demanding felines.

I slipped in and out of dream space.

The woman accuses me of being an escort because I have a stack of cash.  I tell her I just sold my truck.  She also accuses me of having fake “air inflated” breasts.  I tell her that “that isn’t at all true.  I got fat and lost some weight and now I have stretch marks.”

Other strange thoughts invade my mind as I toss and turn.

I just don’t want to feel this way anymore.  I just want to sleep for 24 hours straight.  I just want to be taken care of because I don’t have the energy right now to care at all. 

I wake up early on September 13th.  I go to my Facebook feed.  There she is in my memories.  My fur buddy’s 10th Doggaversary.  Today would have been our 11th.

See just when I was settling into the idea that I no longer have to fill her water and food bowls, I am reminded of how far we went, and how close we came to 11.  I think about how, we would celebrate together since my birthday is so close to the day we found each other.

I realize, it wasn’t the eggs that made me sick; it was knowing that I would have to wake up on the 13th and deal with a new slew of emotions.  And that settling into emotions is much like the settling of sand which can be moved by a breeze, or a wash of water, dried out by the sun and stepped on, only to be encrusted into the indentations of some passerby’s shoes and transported to places unseen.

I’d like to not have to do anything for a while, so that I can just sleep if I want to sleep and dream these weird dreams, hoping we eventually reunite in that dreamspace for a little bit.  And, see I know I can’t tarry there long, but I would still like the opportunity, nonetheless.

 

My Best Friend: Who Am I Without Her

I was a dog owner for just short of eleven years.  I’ve lived a decade immersed in that mentality.  Where I go, my dog goes.  If my dog isn’t welcome, I probably don’t want to be there.   I ditched out on parties early, avoided certain places all together, all for the sake of companionship.

Sometimes Claddagh would hang out in the car if I wanted to make an appearance at some event where she either wasn’t welcome, or I knew would have too many dogs and give her anxiety.  I would pop out every half hour and spend about fifteen minutes with her, eventually, most times cashing out early and going home.  Every once in a while it would be a late night in good company in calm environments with people who adored her and her dog friends around.   Those were the good ole days.

I knew I had to be friends with the people who had dogs that got along well with Claddagh.  Introductions were always the most awkward for her.  Dog protocol is all about the butt sniff.   Claddagh wasn’t having it.  Anytime a new dog got near her posterior she would growl, effectively telling them to “fuck off. ”  If the dog interested in her, could let the desire to sniff go for the amount of time it would take for Claddagh to get comfortable, they could then get close enough to take some sniffs and walk away to give her space before doing another cruise by.

Claddagh always had anal gland issues, though they seemed to be less bothersome in our last two years that were dominated by a diet change.  I wonder if she was insecure because of the glandular build up.  Maybe it was just sore.  In the beginning I thought maybe she had been tapped by another dog and there was trauma there, but that could just be my wild imagination.

It’s strange to think that we surround ourselves with living beings, daily, and yet we don’t really give them much thought once we get comfortable with their presence especially when we just trust in the routine of life.

I can’t focus on thinking about anything but my life with Claddagh, right now.  I go to distract myself with topics I generally find interesting and they have no allure.  An emotional cord has been ripped from my chest and I wonder how I will ever be able to fill the obvious hole in my heart.  I don’t want another dog.  I want my dog.

I am something different than I was two days ago.  Now I am “dogless.”  It feels wrong. So much of my personal identity was shared with this companion animal.  I am caught at an emotional crossroads that I’ve been to before.    Do I shut myself down and wall myself off as I have in so many human relationships, or do I see this as an opportunity to grow and change and to better understand and appreciate the various wavelengths that love can exist within?

I’d like to to believe I will follow the latter. I suppose I need to explore what this means for my human relationships.  Obviously the depth that I feel about this situation can not be ignored and I think that my willingness to dive those depths can be intimidating to the humans around me.

See, even though I am making this outpouring about a dog, these feelings are universal with any sort of significant loss.  We come from a history of people distracting themselves from their pain, and I find pain unavoidable.  I always have, but I believe in the Spirit of things and that Spirit always reminds me that everything is temporary and that things can always get better but one must have a willingness to believe that Truth in order to take advantage of it’s reality.

Claddagh brought to my life more depth than can ever be articulated.  We didn’t need words because our souls were in constant conversation.  My writing was able to take on even more depth because of Claddagh being there as an influence in my perception of the world, and because it was amazing to try and imagine the world through her eyes specifically when she was at play in nature, or when she would just stare at me for minutes on end.

She was a reflection of my soul. My soul mate.  It seems rare to find anything or anyone in the world that you would want to covet forever.  I am hopeful that I won’t have to wait another twenty-seven years to begin another journey like I had with Claddagh. I am hopeful that the depths of whatever is to be, extends ever further than I could dream or imagine.

I think if you really love and adore someone, you should consider taking on their best attributes.  If I were to take on the best attributes of Claddagh, I would be more excited for everything that life has to offer.  I would make each person I am with, feel like the most important person in the room by giving them my undivided attention.   I would wait to eat more meals with company.  I would go for a ride for no good reason more often especially if someone just wanted the company.

My life over the last six years has become quite isolating, and Claddagh took the brunt of that.  We went from fairly nomadic to completely stagnant.  Over the six years I just slowly stopped doing the things that we enjoyed most together because nature seemed so far away.  We aged and got lazy and uncomfortably comfortable together.  But, we were together, every single day.

What a great partner.  What an amazing friend.