Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, February 05, 2010

I miss my puppy

On my way back from putting my rent into the slot at the leasing office (on time, and I have been for months--I may be killing my feet but at least I can pay my bills), a couple was out walking their dog, a husky-chow mix that was tiny compared to the parent breeds. She was very friendly, and licked my hand. Most dogs really like me, and recognise me as a dog person. But after they left, I was overcome with a sadness.

It's been over two years since Cerys died, but she had such a profound effect on my life that I still think of her often, and the memories are bittersweet, because she was such a good dog, and now she's gone, although after a good, long life. She was a pound puppy, my very first dog of my own, my responsibility. I was out driving one day and had a very strong urge to go to the local humane society--even though it was in the opposite direction--and fell in love with the black Lab mix that bowed just like my friend's dog (my training dog, if you will, how I learnt to love and take care of dogs). Someone was ahead of me for the adoption, but bowed out. My landlord had to approve. I was desperate for that dog, and it was apparently meant to be. I firmly believe that my Patroness, Hekate, had a hand in that, as she is associated with dogs, especially black ones. That began a wonderful relationship that lasted sixteen years.

Cerys did more than anything to get me out of the funk I was in once my brain returned and I fled my marriage. She loved me unconditionally--something rare in my life.

I remember after I took her home her coming up to the bed and looking forlorn and begging, but afraid to come up (I think she'd been abused before she was abandoned; she was terribly timid, especially at the start). I invited her up and from that moment on it was her bed. Even now, I've finally begun to stretch out on the bed and take her spot, but it took over a year and a change in mattress to do so. That's actually how I knew she was going downhill--she'd started to sleep on the floor, and had difficulty getting up onto a fairly low bed. The floor, even carpeted, had never been good enough for her before.

I have a poor memory for all sorts of things, but vivid ones of Cerys, as a puppy, in middle age, and as an old dog. I treasure every moment I had with her. It's so strange now to have only fish as pets (I'd had three cats for years as well, the last of which was put down a year before Cerys). I am an aunt to two wonderful cats and three dogs that adore me. I am part of their pack. It's enough, mostly. But every now and then I miss my dog, who was really the best dog for me there could have been, and at a time in my life when I desperately needed something in my life like her.

I don't know what happens when animals die, if there's some spirit they have that lives on to be reborn. But if so, I hope Cerys is young and happy and full of life, with someone who loves her as much as I did.

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