This past week we had to say goodbye to Stoli... our puppy who followed me around every moment of the day and sat by my side through all of it, good and bad, for the last 14 years.
The house is emptier now. His spot next to my bed and where I sit in the living room is empty. I still brace myself before coming home because it's so hard not to have him greet me with excitement like he always did. I wish someone would have warned me about that.. it was the hardest the first time. I know it seems silly to be this upset over an animal but him and I had a special connection and it's hard to let him go.
It's amazing to me how much love we have for the animals we share our lives with. They give such unconditional love and comfort. I wish humans could be the same way.
At the end, he was suffering in many ways - one of the most difficult ways was night time dementia. Not only was I getting woken up caring for him every 15-20 minutes but he was confused and upset and doing things that were strange and unlike him. It was upsetting to me and I think also to him. I feel he was afraid.
The funny thing is that the first night he was gone, I should have been able to get a good night sleep for the first night in months... but I couldn't sleep a wink without him by my side.
Time heals and I know it will get easier but I miss my boy and I'm so sad to not be able to share more of this life with him.
We said our goodbyes and there will be a void that no other animal can fill - it's his alone. I fed him his favorite forbidden food, pistachio nuts, and we had a gentle vet come to the house to put him to sleep.
Before he left, I clipped some of his fur to keep when I miss him and just want to touch him again. I know it seems silly or maybe over-the-top and I'm sure a lot of people think I'm crazy... but it helps me.
I keep trying to visualize him here like he used to be so I don't forget... but even with only a few days without him, it slips from you a bit. It's hard to keep the picture in your head just right. I'm grateful for photos to help with that. (don't worry he's only sleeping in the next photo)...
So, time goes forward and life keeps moving. I keep thinking where has he gone? I try to hold onto faith that there is something more for all of us after this life. It goes by all too soon.