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Day 16: Something that you miss

A few months ago, I ended my lengthy absence from this blog with a short narrative explaining where I had been. It was difficult and I had been writing it over the course of four months because anytime I would start I would lose sight of my screen and keys due to tears. In short, I lost my dog on November 11th, 2014 and frankly I still haven’t recovered.

The car ride home from the rescue a.k.a. the day we met.

The car ride home from the rescue a.k.a. the day we met.

Then again, you’re not supposed to “recover” from losing your best friend. You grieve, learn to live without them and take it day-by-day. For me, that meant my whole daily ritual went off track.

I had a very set way of doing things for six solid years; wake-up, pull my hoodie on, turn around and grab Jules, take her downstairs and outside, wait for her to be done, bring her back in, give her a treat and put a diaper on her, bring her into the computer room to her bed, get ready for work/school, say bye to mom and Jules, come home, snuggle Jules, take Jules outside, bring her back in and give her a treat then carry her up to bed and repeat.

The things that aren’t mentioned above: Jules was a rescue and a retired breeder, hence the reason she needed a diaper (she had leaky moments). Depending on the day, I feed her breakfast or dinner. She was usually waiting for me in either the kitchen or dining room when I would get home at night. She was too old to go up and down the stairs on her own. She was worse than a teenager to wake-up and made her displeasure known. Finally, some part of her had to be touching me when she slept at night.

How we normally were; her peaking out from behind me like a little shadow.

How we normally were; her peaking out from behind me like a little shadow.

She had abandonment issues and hated when I left. She huffed when she didn’t like something and barked when a boy was near. She’d had a hard life that turned into paradise when she became part of our family. I was hers as much as she was mine.

Letting her go was the worst decision of my life but it was mine and no one else’s to make. The unfortunate part of having an animal that no one ever tells you is their span is short and ultimately you are left to decide when they get to go. I had the choice of letting her suffer and letting her go peacefully.

I chose peacefully and found myself so grief stricken and emotionally battered it caused me to become sick. I left school on November 11th only to return home to feed Jules one last time, a meal of a hamburger patty and a chicken breast, and take her to the vet’s office one last time.

No one prepares you for the feeling of emptiness. I didn’t realize how much her snorts and snores lulled me to sleep until they weren’t there or how much I loved amount of heat she threw off against my back until it was cold. I didn’t realize how I would feel like I was forgetting something every time I went up stairs at night or downstairs in the morning. I didn’t realize how much noise she made during the day until it was void. Mostly, I didn’t realize how much I emotionally depended on her until she was gone.

Is it weird I find it most comforting that’s she’s back in my room? I chose to have her privately cremated and the ashes returned to me for two reasons. One, I wanted her back. Two, she had spent over half her life in a small area with a bunch of other dogs and I didn’t want her in that position ever again. Even in death.

Her and I before I left for class on Nov. 11 a.k.a. the day we said goodbye.

Her and I before I left for class on Nov. 11 a.k.a. the day we said goodbye.

There have been a few times where I’ve caught myself doing things out of habit; like grabbing two plates instead of one when getting breakfast for our Yorkie and turning around to grab Jules out of bed even though it’s been months since she’s slept in it with me. It’s funny how some things that were so ingrained in your daily routine never go away.

She was an old lady and warden who sounded like she chain-smoked while sipping Jack Daniels but she was mine.

And I was hers.