My dog of the last twelve years died earlier this week. She was my close friend and one of the most honest souls I've ever met. If she liked you, she let you pet her. If she didn't, you knew it. And if she wanted to trick you into getting your hand too close, it took some reading, but you knew that too. She knew when we were upset, and tried to comfort us even when she was feeling so sick as she was during the end. There were hundreds of little things she did that showed that she had a far more complicated personality than some people I know, and she was truly a member of my family.
She wasn't able to eat during the few days leading up to her death. Eventually, she'd get to where she couldn't hold down water. I picked her up to clean her, and just that quickly... she was gone. She's gone, and my heart is broken. When I was coming home from work today, I had to catch myself when I was thinking about taking her outside to walk and I'd buried her just a day or two before. There are a thousand things I wish I'd've done differently, things I wish I hadn't've said, time I spent doing trivial things instead of being with her, basically taking her for granted and thinking she'd always be there even though I knew she wouldn't on an intellectual level.
Now, I see these pictures of dogs, see them on TV, and I can't stop thinking about a tiny 6-lb. creature who completely owned my heart. I flash back to when she was a spry puppy who'd slip her leash, and I'd have to chase her down the street. I was much younger, faster, and more agile then, and she'd nimbly evade me for minutes at a time, running like a tiny gazelle. And even then, as tiny as she was, she had a bark that belied her size, and a bite to match. Even as she neared the end, she had that bark and that bite until the pain got to be too much for her. I miss and will continue to miss her more than I will ever be able to express.
And no, I'm not okay, but I will be eventually. As I write this, I'm keeping well back from the keyboard because I don't want my tears to short it out. Everything is just too quiet without her here.
It just seems selfish of me to be hurting this much when there are people not far from me who have lost far more, and I know that and I feel awful about it. However, this dog had seen me through some of the toughest years of my life, taught me things about life and about myself, and she was a blinding light in a world that sometimes seemed very dark. Those of you who aren't pet people wouldn't understand, but those of you who are understand exactly what I'm saying. I will never forget her, how beautiful she was, I won't say "sweet" because she was full of piss and vinegar, but she was a very good, loyal, and true friend. I just miss her so much.
It seems I'm just starting to repeat things I've already said before, so I guess I'll end this post now since I don't have anything to add that I would be able to adequately express. But appreciate your pets and your loved ones. Let them know you care about them, because eventually, there will be a day the pets and loved ones won't be there and all you'll have is memories. The loss is painful enough. Don't compound it by adding regrets to the mix.