Saturday 15 October 2016.
I am not sure why, but I have some ideas why, I mean, that is, why it is so much harder today, than it was yesterday.
Today was the first day I began to miss her regular routine, the little details, those many and separate events which used to measure every day of life, here at home, in recent years: feeding her breakfast, making sure she can go out when she needs to, giving her dog cookies and praise, taking her out myself, feeding her dinner – all these things that used to measure every day, day after day, now they are no more.
We came home from a drive today, Mom and I, and she was not there to greet us, to be happy to see us, to wag her tail and smile and say I love you.
Today is the first day I noticed how much there is an empty space where she used to live, how much I miss those little chores and details, how much I miss her.
Today it seems somehow harder than it did yesterday. Today I had nothing left from her routine. Yesterday I was all bound up in closing the immediate wound of her death. Calling the vet to ask for a recommendation. Calling the pet mortuary to arrange for them to come pick her up a little later, asking them to wait an hour and a half until I could wake Mom and tell her and she could say goodbye. Then telling Mom. That was hard. Going out with her to see her. Saying goodbye to her. Waiting for the pet mortician to come and pick her up. Helping them. Saying goodbye to the body that had once been alive and full of dog love and personality. Saying goodbye to our animal friend.
Yesterday I had too much to do to, I could not just sit back and realize how much I miss all those little details of everyday life with a dog. Today she is not here.
Today I miss her more than I did yesterday.
Yesterday. Yesterday I was in some kind of shock. Yesterday I found her dead, in the morning, lying in her favorite spot next to the gate by the side of the house.
That was where I last saw her alive, night before last, Thursday night. Inside the gate, resting in her favorite spot. I went out and bent down, that night, around eleven, and pet her neck and shoulders and chest and asked her if she did not want to come in. Maybe have something to eat?
I confess I was a little worried. She had not asked for dinner. That should have been enough to warn me, and it was, but I thought no, she will get over it. She has gotten over such stomach discomforts before. Before.
Before. But this was not before. This was a thirteen year old dog, under treatment for an ulcerated cornea, scheduled to visit the vet the next day to see how she was doing – already having taken too long to recover from such a wound – and I should have understood, should have known, that maybe her immune system was gravely damaged, maybe she would not recover from whatever it was that took away her usually robust appetite… no, I turned away, convinced that she would recover, and well, we were going to see the vet tomorrow anyway, that should be… enough. Well enough. Good enough.
But it was not.
And now she is gone.