Nearly everyone has lost a beloved pet, so nearly everyone reading this will know how gutted we feel right now. Our girl Schatzi died early Wednesday morning. She was eleven years old and healthy. We thought we’d have her companionship and love for a few years yet, but she fell in the pool overnight and drowned.
Guilt? You know it. Why didn’t we do this or that, why didn’t we wake up and check on her, why did we ever feel we deserved to have such a precious little life in our hands? There’s no way to ignore those horrible feelings; we can only hope time dulls the blade.
It’s extraordinarily difficult to write about losing Schatzi, to share this very personal grief with others. To some degree, though, it’s my way of coping.
We took her to a local pet cemetery and picked up her ashes this morning. She’s in a little cedar box on my desk, in the very spot where she kept me company as I worked, from which she scanned the yard for coyotes and squirrels.
My friend Ed and I worked on my motorcycle yesterday morning and part of the afternoon. It helped, but the gloomy thoughts came rushing back at night. The little cedar box may help as well; it may not. We’ll see.
Our other dachshund, Maxie, the one we adopted a few years ago, is not as physically affectionate as Schatzi was. She’s not a lap dog, but she does like to curl up between us in bed at night, and that is some comfort. She’s probably ten years old … no one knew her age when we adopted her, so that’s a guess … but in any case she’s well into adulthood and will stay forever Maxie, a good girl but not a sidekick.
I’d been planning another mini-gypsy run, a week-long motorcycle tour of Arizona, Nevada, and northern California. I considered canceling, but now think it’ll be good for me, so I’m going after all. I leave on Sunday, May 21st and will return the following Saturday, May 27th. When I get back I may start looking for another dog, probably another dachshund, this time an adult in need of a home. Donna’s not ready to think about such things yet, but may be by the time I get back.
Fuck me. I just read this aloud to Donna and started crying. I’m sorry to dump all this on you. Thank you for understanding.
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