Yesterday I woke up without a dog beside the bed. I walked downstairs without the sound of a dog following me down. I started the coffee without putting food in the dog bowl first. I sat on the toilet without a dog pushing the door open and pushing his head between my knees to look at me with those unbelievably loving eyes…
I can’t go on………..I go on.
All day long, every second, every movement, every breath brought me sharply and keenly to awareness of the emptiness, the missing piece, the void left aching in my heart and soul…
I can’t go on…………I go on.
Today I woke up and heard the sound of hungry ducks quacking for their breakfast, without a dog beside my bed. Today I petted my cat who slept on the blanket chest and petted the cat who lounged on my desktop as I headed for the stairs which I descended without a dog. Today my chicken greeted me at the bottom of the stairs clucking loudly for me to get my ass out there and feed her and the ducks. I did so laughing but without a dog watching me from the deck or taking his place alongside my chair as we watched the sun rise together over the splendid meadow of wild flowers in full bloom on a breathtakingly beautiful late summer morning. Mourning.
I go on.
Today as I sat in the hot tub below the deck later, trying to focus on happy memories of my departed beloved Rocky who left on Monday, and my deeply beloved Lulu who left a few years ago, 2 stray dogs suddenly appeared silently from the woods. One large white Lab mix, the other a small border collie Australian shepherd mix. Elated at seeing them I sat up and shouted “Hello!”
Without a sound the big white Lab stopped still and made eye contact with me for a full second then turned and walked slowly and calmly away. The collie hardly noticed, trekking on deliberately and ever so slowly despite a terrible limp. Slowly they made their way together up the meadow, leaving tracks in the dew.
I sat there transfixed. Surely this was a sign, a message, meant for me. I’ve heard it said that all animals are angels, messengers, they cross our paths and share their lives with us to bring us knowledge, a lesson…as it dawned on me that that WAS the message for me, I rose from the tub. I wrapped a towel around my dripping naked self, crossed up and over the deck and headed for the road up to the barn to meet them at the top of the meadow.
But they were gone. Their tracks still showed clearly in the dew. They had stopped by the barn for a moment. I had seen the white Lab read Rocky’s signs on the fence post and then leave his own message for him as I had gotten out of the tub. The tracks led from there up to the edge of the next meadow to the north but then doubled back and crossed to Rocky’s fresh grave site. From there I couldn’t distinguish the freshest tracks, which path they had taken or where they had gone.
I returned to the house, dressed and walked around the area. Then got in the truck and drove all around the neighborhood. Nothing.
But I saw where I was. I was home. I wasn’t alone. I was without a dog. I was without my Rock. But I wasn’t alone.
It was a beautiful day filled with promise. And I am fortunate to live in a beautiful and natural setting filled with life. Filled with love.
I can go on.