Saturday, October 22, 2011

What He Gave Me

I needed a friend, so I went looking for a dog. I found Drive.

Within a year of bringing Drive home, I lost my job and my ability to work. I lost most of my contact with the outside world. For a while there, it was me and my dog. He listened to me. We worked through some stuff.

I fell in love with everything about greyhounds, so I joined a forum. I wanted Drive to have doggie friends so I went to a few outings. Being able to talk about Drive helped me focus and get over my terror of other people enough to have a conversation. When anxiety started to crowd my brain, I could just look at Drive and curl my fingers into the soft fur at his neck. There are so many pictures of me with my fingers like that. Every single one is a picture of my dog comforting me.

He was beside me. He kept me steady. He engaged me.

Drive made me so happy it seemed obvious to share him. I promise, he was every bit the sweet old gentleman I portrayed him as. He was so patient with me.

I started to meet people, good and wonderful people who know the true value of a dog. I went on trips!

I sought Drive because I needed a friend. Because of Drive, I am surrounded by friends as I grieve him.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I don't want this day.

This is the first day without Drive. I do not want this day.

After lunch yesterday, I sat on the couch with him and played a little. I rubbed his ears, told him how silly and beautiful he was, scratched his belly a little. I crossed the room. I was doing dishes when I heard the sound of him staggering. I wish I'd never seen that. I think it was a stroke. I caught him. He never fell.

I couldn't carry him to the van and I couldn't get the back seats out of the van myself anyway. I just held him. I stayed wrapped around him, talking to him. I thought he would die then. My husband raced home from work to help me and we took my Drive to the vet.

There was too much damage.

I wanted him outside. He loved to lay in the sun. We took him outside on a stretcher and I got on the ground with him and held him. I stroked his bunny-soft neck and I kissed his ear and told him how silly and beautiful he was. "You are the best dog, son. You did everything right."

He was smiling. He was smiling and looking into my eyes. He was so peaceful.

I don't know what I'll do without him.

He carried my heart.

Sunday, October 16, 2011