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Tuesday, March 05, 2013


Yesterday, we rode home from the vet in silence.  Charlie, Caris, and I.  All of us knowing that our girl would suffer no longer, but all of us lost in our pain.  Together, but alone. 

Charlie had to return to work, but he took the time to hug each one of us, making sure we felt very hugged.  His arms were comforting.  I watched as he hugged Caris.  She held on tight, returning his embrace.

I stood in the kitchen for a long time.  Not quite knowing what to do with myself.  My whole world has been Ellie for the past few months, and intensely so for the last two weeks.  Pretty much every moment has been dedicated to her care.  I wouldn't leave the house without her.  I became a bit obsessed, I know.  I micromanaged her food, her feedings, her snacks, her walks, her naps, her love, everything.  I listened to her breathe at night.  I slept on the far edge of the bed if she found a comfy space that "infiltrated" my sleeping space because if she was comfy, I didn't want to move her.  In the daytime, I tried not to move about the house too much because she would want to move with me, and I didn't want her to use her energy needlessly.  I didn't think anyone really noticed.  Except Ellie. 

She looked to me for everything.  Well, everything except the lovies.  She gladly accepted that from everyone.  But I was the caregiver and she knew it.  She came to me to ask for food, treats, and walks.  The only necessity that she went straight to Charlie for was the 2 am trips outside.  She must have learned as a puppy that you have to go to Daddy's side of the bed in the middle of the night if you have any hope of getting attention, because Mommy doesn't wake up. 

I thought of all of these things as I stood there like a zombie in my kitchen.  I stared at her pictures on our fridge.  Charlie scooped me up in one more hug and asked if I needed anything before he went back to work.  I shook my head.  "I'm good."  I told him.  "Liar."  He responded, and hugged me again. 

Caris mustered up all the power she had in her and started on her interrupted schoolwork.  I know it was difficult for her, but she did what she had to do.  I envied her a little because I wondered what to do with myself now.  Ellie was my day.  Whatever Ellie wanted to do, I would try to make possible for her.  If she wanted to sit out on the front lawn all day, I would sit with her.  If she had he energy for the park, I would take her.  If she wanted to go for a car ride, I would drive with the windows open so that she could take in all the smells of the world.  Now what?

Before Charlie left, he told me not to do anything.  Just rest.  He kissed my forehead, told me to remember all the sweet things, and went back to work.  I couldn't do nothing.  So I just started putzing.  I did some laundry, I washed some dishes.  I really did feel like the walking dead.  Going about my business without thinking.  Just doing.  It was about an hour or two later that I began to notice something strange.  Ellie's water dish was gone.  Not in its usual place on the kitchen floor.  Even the mat that her dish sat on was gone.  Ellie's treat jar was moved from its usual place on the counter.  In my office, Ellie's sleeping mat was not next to the aquarium, just next to my desk.  There were no toys on the living room floor.  I didn't really notice it until the mail lady came.  No boofing.  No barking.  Ellie always barked when the mail got delivered.  Then, all the things that were usual, just weren't there anymore.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.

Then I had a flash of memory.  As I was standing there, zoned out in my kitchen when we got home from the vet, Charlie was moving quickly around the house.  I hadn't paid any attention, so lost was I in my grief.  Like Caris, he had gone about the business at hand, doing what he felt needed to be done.  He was protecting me and my broken heart.  Even in his own grief, he was taking care of me.  He knew that as I tried to move through my day, I would see things and my world would stop and I would cry and he wouldn't be there to comfort me.  So he took care of what he could and tried to hide the "triggers".  My broken heart melted.  Sometimes, he is forgetful beyond belief, but when it's really important...when it has something to do with my heart, no one watches over me like Charlie.

These next few days, weeks, months, will be hard.  We won't be rushing to the shelter like we did after Shanny died.  I don't have it in me this time.  I know we are a family with so much love to give, and it's always going to be in us to adopt a dog again one day.  But this time, for some reason, is different.  This time, I feel like Ellie deserves a time of reverence.  This dog, this sweet, sweet, sweet furry girl took pieces of us with her.  Caris made a comment about how you know in your life, you may have a lot of pets, you may have a lot of dogs, and they're all great, but you have that ONE dog.  THE one.  Ellie is that one.  We all agreed.  She was definitely that one.

We're luckier than most people in a way.  I can pick up the phone at any moment and call Wes, and he will bring little Kiva and she will help to kiss our hurt away.  Just for now, though, I would give anything to hear a little jingle of tags at the foot of my bed.


Blogger Jess said...

Well, you have me crying again. I never got to meet her, but I'm crying over her loss. I can relate to so much of what you're saying. And yes, Charlie is wonderful to have done all of those things to try to ease the pain.

4:44 AM  
Blogger auburnpisces said...

Girl, if I'm ever in the dumps, I'm going to borrow that man. He is one in a million. Those were the hardest tasks to do once we lost our girl last year. I know your heart is aching beyond belief and I'm sorry you're hurting. I'll call you soon. xoxo

8:10 AM  

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