I buried my best friend today.
Horrible. It’s trite to say how short a time we have with pets. How much they grow into our lives, our hearts. And then suddenly, they’re gone. It’s trite, but there it is anyway.
No one should have to wrap a limp little body in a pillow case. No one should have to place that body inside a cardboard box. No one should have to dig a hole and then bury that box, cover it with dirt.
But I did all that for my Sylvia because I love her. I loved her many quirks and eccentricities. How she sat on the couch and stared at me for hours while I wrote. Or stared outside the window and growled nonstop at the stuff floating down the river. I love how she went bat-shit insane whenever “outside” was mentioned. I love (and oh god, I will miss) her having to sit on my left leg when we rode in the car. How she looked out the window and felt the air and smiled her little doggy smile. She loved car rides.
I shouldn’t have to miss any of that. But I do. I already do.
I have two other pugs that I love dearly–Sadie and Tovah. But the house is quiet and lonely today. I can’t look over and see Syl on the couch. I can’t hold her, squirming, and give her kisses, smell her ridiculously bad breath, rub her tummy. I won’t be able to torture her with pug maintenance–teeth brushing, ear cleaning, fold cleaning (her absolute least favorite) and nail trimming. I won’t be able to sneak her secret treats, because she was the oldest and my special, special baby.
I won’t be able to snuggle up to her on cold nights. To have her lick my head when she feels the need to clean me. I won’t be cleaning up the enormous amounts of shed fur anymore. Deb won’t have her special pug to settle into the chair with and watch TV. I won’t be able to watch her as she watches TV, growling at other animals, especially horses.
She has moved on, moved on from me as life does, as all life does. And while that’s the way of things, it doesn’t mean that I have to like it…right now anyway. I don’t know what you believe about life and death, and I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything. But I do believe that death is a movement, a next chapter if you will. That whatever animates us–all of us, dogs included–whether that’s a soul or a life force or cosmic energy or whatever, it carries us through this transition that we see as death. I believe that there is something after death. What? I dunno. But I do believe that I will see Sylvia again someday. I believe that I will hear her happy little squeals, that she will dance in circles at the sight of me, that she will lick my head and smile her snaggle-toothed smile.
And as I said in a story about another lost dog of mine, we will both be here. Right here.
Until then, I will miss her profoundly.
Lord, I will miss her.