Friday, March 21, 2014

That Void, Though...

I want to write something, but I don't know what.

I want to find the words that appropriately express how much I miss my dog.  Even though most of the time I was annoyed with her or telling her to go lay down or get out of the kitchen or stop barking or stop scratching.  Even though while she was here I felt like she was such a nuisance and a burden because of her condition.  Beneath it all I obviously still loved her because I was way more of a wreck than I ever imagined I'd be last weekend.

You know, for all her "faults", she was a really good dog.  She obeyed well and was calm.  She didn't drool or pant or beg for food.  She didn't run ahead or run away on walks or in the park.  I could let her out front to go to the bathroom, completely off leash, while another dog was walking down the street and she would stay right on our lawn and not go anywhere near the other dog.  She was so well trained and other than her skin issues, she was pretty low-maintenance.  She was excellent with Maraea from the time she was a baby.  Maraea would dress her up and pull her tail and her ears and just generally push her around like most little kids do and Moko would take it without flinching.

It's sad how you realize these things once they are gone.

Maraea:  What are we gonna do now without our protector dog, mommy?

I've been thinking a lot about getting another dog - not to replace Moko, but to fill that void - and I find myself thinking, "What if she doesn't train as well as Moko?  What if she's not a good listener?  What if she pants and has stinky breath?  What if she drools?  What if she barks nonstop at anything that moves?"  I find myself thinking, "What if she's not like Moko?"

Two weeks ago I never would have bet I'd ever say something like that to myself.

There really is a void in our house though.  It just feels so much like - there once was four, now there's three.  There's a void.  A new level of quiet.  An absence of life.  Missing energy.  I didn't know it was there when it was there, but I know that it's gone now.  It's painful.  Coming home to her crate standing wide open, empty.  Her spot next to the TV, now free, begging for something, anything to fill its void.

As Maraea and I were leaving the house the other morning:
Maraea:  Bye bye Moko!
Me:  Awww...
Maraea:  Maybe she can hear me, mommy.

There has been an amazing outpouring of love during this time.  Cards, texts, phone calls.  I couldn't appreciate it more.  I realize now how insensitive I may have been to others who have lost their pets in the past, if I'd only given them a minimal response.  I couldn't understand it then.  Honestly, I wish I never had to understand it, but now I do.  It's like I'm part of some club now.  People who know, well... they know.  People who don't... I hope you don't have to.

I can't even think about her without getting choked up.  A friend warned me that this would happen for some time.

They really do become a part of your family.

Hug your pets tonight.  We only get to have them for so long.

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