Thursday, January 8, 2015

The head and the heart

For the first time in over a year I did not rush home from work to let Ramona out.

Instead, I went to the main squeeze's house where we ordered in pizza as the snow blew around outside, watched silly sitcoms, snuggled, and ate the most delicious popcorn drizzed with coconut oil and honey. Oh, and I got a backrub. Perfect.

Except, on the drive home, overflowing with love and warmth, I remembered why I was able to go right from work to my squeeze's house and I remembered that when I got home Ramona wouldn't jump off the couch to lick my nose and beg for dinner.

Tonight Ramona is with the woman who is thinking of adopting her, and with her two-possible furball siblings.

In my head I have known for awhile that Ramona is not a good fit for my social lifestyle and my growing relationship. Her aggression towards visitors has grown and worsened, and my ability to control it has also worsened and ultimately failed. For the safety of all, I have finally accepted she needs a more experienced caretaker.

But in my heart, she is my dog and I am her "mom."

This is my first pet and my first pet failure. It is a pain that is hard to touch on for too long, too hard to focus on, for doing so leaves me a little breathless. She is going to be gone from my life soon I realize, and I choke on the words as they form. Our paths are heading different directions, my heart sobs.

I keep looking down at the foot of my bed, where her empty bed is, and I can barely believe she isn't in it, groaning and snoring, turning and scratching, occassionally craning her neck upwards towards me. It's hard to believe there is a possibility that soon she will not be the last thing I see every night and the first thing I see every morning.

She has been my company this last year, most times in a positive way, but sometimes in a burdensome and hard way. She is my shadow and companion - never more than a few feet away at any given moment. I know her noises and what her movements mean. I know when she is giving me sincere affection versus treat-motivated licks. I know when she is sick of hugs and my high-pitched sing-song conversations. I have come to cherish when she treats me to the rare and much loved morning snuggle. I try to tell her every day how much I love her. I hope she forgives me for being unable to fulfill the commitment I made to her a year ago.

My house is so quiet without her.