The house has empty spaces now. Large empty pieces of floor, and a certain quiet. There is a rhythm missing.
The mother and daughter of the family I chose for my pup came this morning. The mother felt for me. I tried to do it slowly, talking all the while. The pup was really glad to see them, if mainly curious as to why her things were being packed. I gave her a ball to play with when we got outside, which she was pleased with. And then I told her to get into the back of their minivan, where her dog bed was. She did, and sat in the dog bed, wondering. I said, as brightly as I could, “Have lots of fun!” And then the mother closed the hatch and she was fighting back tears more than I was. And then they got in the van and my boyfriend and I went back inside.
I cried. I felt sorry for myself, for the loss of my joyful, living-in-the-moment guru. With her unabashed goofiness and playful nature, and her tender little heart. I cried again when vacuuming, because I was vacuuming up the vestiges of her presence, and because I desperately hoped she will be happy. Doubts popping up. I’m crying now, reliving the moments again.
I brought her up from the age of four months to 3.5 years. There were a lot of hard times. Many nights when I was sick, tired and not looking forward to walking my high energy pup for the hour she needed. But there were the nights when I wouldn’t want to, but I went and her joie de vivre would make me laugh and shake me out of my funk. Her head stuck deep into a snowbank because her hunter nose could discern a scent. The pure joy of a pine cone to play with. We did that this morning, with her rolling in oak leaves, playing catch and bounce with a half-eaten pine cone.
But despite this joy, she was bored here. With two people doing their people-things all the time, it’s not like she was able to whip out her laptop and work on her award-winning novel. I did my best, but she’s an intelligent breed and needed more stimulation, and more attention.
I never intended on staying in the apartment beyond her first year. I wanted to live in the country, probably somewhere in the Gatineau Hills in Quebec. I wanted to set up my little studio workshop, have a rustic cabin, a garden, some trees, my cat and dog. But then, life never really goes according to plan. As I began going through this year, it became more clear that I won’t be doing that anytime soon. It also became clear that my pup needed it more than ever.
So I made that difficult decision. That one I knew would hurt me in the short term, but would prevent her from becoming broken. What happens in her life is beyond my control now. I still love her, and I can only hope that she will be happy.
She lives in the moment, so I think she will.