National Blog Posting Month Day 27
I want to thank everybody for their kind words and sympathy on my memorial for Chessie. The most difficult thing I've ever done was going to the vet that morning. I would have done anything for one more day and one more walk, but I had to do what was best for him, not me.
The hardest part of the loss has been adjusting my habits with him not around. There is emptiness in both my heart and my day. My morning and evening routines revolved around his routines. He had a rhythm and pace. If we were slow in moving upstairs at night he would let us us know it was time to go to bed.
My wife who was always jokingly dismissive of the dog is taking the transition to a pet-free house harder than me. She was the one that spoiled him rotten, teaching him to jump onto the bed and buying him rolls as treats. We had just bought a doggie step stool to help him climb onto the couch that he will now never need.
She can't walk into a room without a flood of tear-welling memories. Our housecleaners have dogs, so we gathered all the pet beds and dog dishes and accessories to give to them. Chessie traveled light and didn’t have a lot of toys or doodads. We are trying to find that fine line between memorializing him without being constantly reminded of his absence. We have saved his collar and the bumblebee costume we dressed him in every Halloween.
One strategy to keep him off our minds has been to keep busy. On Saturday, friends invited us to their family’s late Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone was sympathetic and uplifting. We cleaned out the coat closets to have something to do. The outdoor Christmas lights went up in record time without the complications of my always underfoot companion.
It's the little things that keep hitting us. Yesterday we went to OtherBigBoxOfBooks to buy a different calendar to replace the English Cocker Spaniel one we had already bought for the upcoming year. I had to change the wallpaper on my work computer so that I didn’t get hit with a pang of grief every time I minimized Outlook.
I make fun of young newly married couples raising puppies. I call those dogs practice kids. At the other end of the lifespan, pets are also lessons in life. Their limited lifespan makes tragedy inevitable. The death of an animal will never be as tragic as the loss of a loved one or family member, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt any less.
BlatantGriefTherapy™: Tell me a happy story about a pet you've had.