For almost 10 years Stuart slept under my desk while I worked.
That’s a lot of snoring. And deep breathing. And doggie dream yips and startled muscle twitches.
It’s just not right that he’s no longer under my desk.
And no longer sitting at the back door. We keep the door closed now.
Or sleeping in the big bed between me and The Dad Peep. I still cry myself to sleep sometimes.
Or staring out the front door watching the world go by. The front door stays shut.
It’s sometimes just too much to bear.
There are no morning or afternoon walks to take together. The walks that we just started taking again are filled with, “Which way do you want to go?” “I don’t know, which way do you want to go?” “Let’s go a different way.” “Which way would that be?” “I’m not sure, all directions hurt.”
I still pause because I’m afraid I’ll step on him at night as I make my way to the bathroom. He’d sometimes snooze on the rug before making his way into the big bed.
But he’s not there and I don’t have to worry about hurting him in the dark anymore.
Weekend yard work is excruciating.
He had one big ole’ heck of a time wandering around snoopervising and snoozing. I’d stop to look for him when I’d see the mailman come our way or when I spotted a dog he didn’t like coming toward the house. Had to make sure he wouldn’t get into harm’s way.
The neighbors must have thought we were crazy when one of us would yell above the lawn mower or weed whacker, “Is he with you?” “No!”
It was usually I who’d stop and walk the yard looking for him.
He wouldn’t come. No matter what. He took great delight in watching me walk around looking for him. Calling and calling. Then, POOF!, there he was, ambling his way over to me from behind a bush. Smiling. With a wagging tail.
No more of that. No more making sure the gates are closed. No more checking the water bowls. No more adding fresh green beans to the shopping list.
His half-full bucket of dry dog food is still at the top of the basement stairs and his cow toe is still on the living room rug under the coffee table.
Even though the rug’s been vacuumed a gazillion times since December 12, 2015.