More Than Just a Dog
Last night our family said goodbye to our chocolate lab, Bauer.
It was sudden. It was unexpected. And it was traumatic.
He woke up fine. Around mid-day he started having trouble walking.
By 4 we were at the vet.
At 4:30 the vet told me that he had a splenic rupture caused by a tumor and his tummy was filling with fluid.
She told us our options. And then we asked her what she would do if it was her dog.
By 6 he was gone.
He died in my arms.
By 6:30 we were back home. Only the house felt empty. Too quiet.
There was no slobbery, loud, stinky, ball of love and hair to greet me.
Almost 11 years I had that dog.
And every morning, afternoon, and night he was with me.
He was so much more than just a dog.
He was my constant.
Always home. Actually he was home.
He moved with us six times.
He was with me through my miscarriage.
I remember lying on the couch the night before my D&C sobbing. He never left my side.
He was at my feet through job troubles. Marriage troubles. Financial troubles.
All of it.
He was here for the birth of 3 babies. Breastfeeding and midnight wakeups.
He was my walking partner. My escape from reality.
We hiked. We swam. We sat.
And then autism. Every tear. Every worry. Every midnight wake up.
8 years of sleep deprivation.
Bauer was always with me. Following behind me. Settling in at my feet.
I almost feel like I took him for granted.
I want my dog back. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
I want more time.
More snuggles. More stinky dog farts. My barks. More yelling at him for being underfoot all the damn time.
There is nothing better than a dog. Especially the best dog.
God, I’m struggling.
I’m going through the grief now. And the guilt.
Did I do enough? Did I love him enough?
I know enough about loss that I need to sit in this for a while.
I wasn’t prepared to lose him though. Not so suddenly. Not yesterday.
I wish I had more time.
He was so much more than a ‘just a dog.’ He was my first baby. My person. My family.
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