Blue, Grammy and I have soldiered our way through the first Thanksgiving without my girl. And the first Christmas. And her 8th birthday. There was only one first left and now that to is behind me, the first anniversary of her passing. I don’t remember a lot, but I’m pretty sure I was completely in shock and overwhelmed by the thought of her absence for the first month after she passed. Unfortunately shock wears off and then pain. Oh the pain. A strange thing about pain that I never really knew before, it seems to come in waves. There may be minutes, hours, days, some times a whole week where I can get through each day without crying. Then the wave rolls in and I go weeks where an event, a photo or even just a thought of her will turn me into a blubbering mess.
They also don’t tell you what it will be like when you bring your beloved companion home after the cremation. I didn’t know where I should put her. I knew I couldn’t spend the rest of my time carrying around a carved wooden box with me though I desperately wanted to keep her with me at all times. For a little while I did. I even brought her on the first business trip I took after her ashes came home. OK, it’s also true that I’ve brought her on all the others since then as well. I did finally decide she should stay in the living room when she isn’t busy traveling since that is where Blue, Bettina and I spend much of our time. I figured she would want to be where we were.
When you prepare to walk out the door of the rescue with your new love they just never tell you that it will end in such gut wrenching pain. Sometimes it will end far sooner than is remotely fair. When a large chunk of my heart closed her eyes on this world, my life became a little less shiny. And I was already in for a pound with Blue, my second greyhound. He was, at that point, a well established member of my family. Yet I know that eventually I will have to watch him slip away from me, and I now know what that is going to feel like. If they had told me the full consequences of my act, what would I have done?
There are some very important things they just don’t tell you, but in the end, I think those of us who love dogs (or cats) must bear this incredible pain willingly. Because in the reckoning, Girly Girl made me a much better person than I ever was or could have been without her. I can’t imagine my life without a greyhound in it. It still hurts like hell a whole year after she left Blue and I behind, but in order to honor the gift that Girly Girl gave me, I must continue sharing my life with hounds. Though some days it’s a close call.
I love you and miss you sweet girl.