The decision was unbearable, the reality inconceivable. What would I do now? How would I go on? My world was/would be forever changed…
The tearful drive home was a blur. It was 5AM, three years ago to this day. I didn’t know if I was coming or going. The rain didn’t seem to either. I really just wanted to curl up and hope for a miracle such that all would be well and he would come back to me again. But, I knew better and that’s what hurt the most. He and I were finally separated after spending nearly seventeen years together–he was always “Two Steps Behind“, my buddy, my companion, my lifelong friend through it all–it just wasn’t right. It would NEVER be right again.
While I wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed and hide from the world forever, I dreaded the idea of opening up our garage door that led inside. Inside to what? It wouldn’t be home anymore. And, it was exactly as I had feared. After hanging up my coat, I slumped down on the stool by our front door. It was the loudest silence EVER and I hated it! No jingling sound, no panting…no Duke. The ensuing feeling of literal and figurative emptiness took me aback and suddenly the saying, “The life was sucked out of me” was all too real. The walls, the floor, the ceiling used to come alive with his energy, even for an old fella, and now everything seemed limp, barren and soooo eerily quiet. Too quiet. I’ve never known quiet like that before. I wept even harder. More than the sheets of rain outside. ‘See?’ Even the world knew that it was a day for mourning the passing of my dear shepherd cross pup lovingly named Duke.
I tried sleeping, but I couldn’t. How could I rest when he wasn’t here anymore? So, I did what I am doing now. I wrote. It was the only solace I knew. I wrote a tribute to him. He needed to know how much I loved him and how much he meant to me and how much I would miss him and still do. That story became our book. The book about how him and I grew up together. The book about the ‘bestest doggy’ ever that a blonde girl could want for. The dog with the softest ears and the biggest heart–the heart that opened me up to the notion of what unconditional love really meant. The dog that brought me to our home out in the country and to a husband who, like him, loves me unconditionally. For that, I am fur-ever grateful to him:-).
After writing all day, recounting some of our countless memories together leaving some of them off of the paper for just him and I to have and to hold, the daylong rain stopped. A Reprieve. And, sure enough…out came the sun, along with most vivid double rainbow that either my husband or I have ever witnessed. It was a sign. It had to be. We both felt it. With it, the silence softened, the emptiness lifted and the world seemed okay again. He had made his journey. He was okay. We would be okay. I would be okay, thanks to him once again:-).
“Bye, Dukie. Love you! Have a good day. See you when I get home.”