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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Unconditional Puppy Love

Yes, I KNOW it's been a while. Nearly three months, in fact. And I apologize. Life got away from me and so did my writing.

I got a journal for Christmas. And I've been using it. Does that count? No, it really doesn't. Journalling is a whole different kind of writing.
I've been up to a lot and up to nothing. Life just happened, and things got lost. One thing that was lost was this blog. I'm not going to recap, not right now.  Today I need to write.
Just know that as in all times - times of writing and times of not writing - life has had good moments and bad ones since we last read together.

Why am I back? What has pulled me into the blogosphere? Sadness. Deep, painful sadness that I cannot express otherwise. I cannot journal about this. Yet. It's even hard to cry.

As some of you know, I am a dog person. I even have a little motto "puppies before people". I would rather hang out with your dog than with you. If you call me and tell me you need something dog-related, I will abandon my life.
I have always been a dog person. It's in me. It's my nature. There is something in me that attracts them to me and me to them. A friend calls me the 'dog whisperer'. They just come up to me and lay down and say, "Pet me, because I know you want to".  And I do.  Because, in fact, I want to.
As a housesitter, I have the good fortune to 'own' many dogs. I take care of them when their owners are out of town or having super busy days. Within minutes, these dogs become mine. I consider them to be my pets, my children, mine.
As a housesitter, I have also lost dogs. No, not lost as in they ran away. That would make me a very bad housesitter. Lost as in end of life. And it crushes me beyond belief.

Today is one of those days. One of my dogs is being put to sleep. He has had cancer for some time now, and it's time. He is no longer comfortable. He is losing weight by the day. The tumors are spreading faster and faster.

Max knows all my secrets and my joys and my pain from the last four years. He has been there for many relationships starting and ending. He lays next to me when I'm sick or sad. He has seen me bat-shit crazy. He has been there for some of the happiest times of my life. We have watched television and movies together, and meditated in the silence of music. We have been together through countless books, and he has laid quietly and encouragingly beside me while I stressed over homework.
I went to see him last night. I just sat on the living room floor and rubbed his back, his belly, his head. I didn't cry. I wanted to be with him. We talked a little. But mainly we just held on.

I am more than sad about this. I am more than crushed at the realization that I will never pet him or lay next to him or feed him again. There's a part of me that cannot believe that I will never call his name again.

But there's something bigger.

I am very grateful he was in my life. He was a kind-hearted soul who just wanted to be next to me when I was around. He always seemed to want to know that I approved - when he came in from going to the bathroom, he would look at me before going in the house; when it was time for bed, he would look at me to make sure I wanted him next to me; when he was done eating, he would come up to me so I knew he had finished. He laid at my feet in the living room as I sat or laid on the couch. He would lift his head every so often so I could pet him and take a break from what I was doing.   His eyes seemed to always tell me of the love he had in his heart for his surrroundings. 

These are traits humans can only dream of having.

I will miss him. So very much. But I am happy there is no more pain. I am happy to have had the opportunity to consider him mine. I am so very happy to love and be loved. I love you, Max.

52 years ago today, the music died.  I think it is very symbolic that my Max goes out on such a day as this...