It has been a little over a week since I sat in the little room and said good bye to the wonder dog Joe. The room was as comforting as it could be, but there is no comfort remaining when holding your loved one in your arms and saying that final good bye. You never want to fully say that final good bye and it does not seem to matter how much justification you fill your head with. A loss is a loss. The vet sat on the ground and placed her hand my knee while trying to remain her distance from me since we are still not allowed to be in anyone’s space due to COVID-19. Brian sat next to me and Joe’s face was facing him while I held his tiny little body close to my heart and chest. It was a familiar place for him. When we cuddled he always remained close to my chest. I always joked with him that he liked mommy’s boobies. A little inappropriate, but that is what we do with our kids, make jokes (even to a dog)!
I knew it was the right decision and there did not seem to be another for the disease that was tackling his little body that was never going to go away. His little body was too weak and tired. What made this so much harder to handle was that Joe seemed fine and played all of the time. He was full of life, sass and so much love to give. Even though I am happy I got to know Joe even if it was for a few years, the hole that little guy left in my body, mind and soul was the size of the Grand Canyon. He was truly and I mean truly my everything in life.
I know that no dog could or would ever replace him and I don’t expect one to, but for one second I would love to be able to hold, kiss and be a part of his life again. Every day I appreciated him for him and never took any moments for granted for I know that rescuing an older dog provides a short window of time with them, but every day and every moment was unique and special. He was with me through so many hard times, such as losing two of his siblings, Dash and Shay, getting a divorce, moving out of my home, buying an RV (he was there for that), living in an RV for a year and half (handling the struggles that came with the RV lifestyle), almost hitting bottom with finances, and during the stay at home order this year. His face was the only one I told about any medical issues, and the only one that comforted me at night and brought laughter to me during the day.
I have lost many dogs prior to Joe and as it never gets easier, it seems that it is getting harder. We invest so much unconditional love into something so pure and gentle and when it is taken away all we have is the deep hole that remains. There is no road trip long enough, no wine to fill it with, or no words that can be said that helps to fill the gap that remains. Your body and mind is left to defend it and to pick up the pieces of life and to learn how to comfort itself once again. We watch the sun set and rise and as it brings on another day we can only hope one thing, that the wound heals a bit at a time. To everyone who has lost a loved one with four leg or two, this post is for you. My thoughts and heart is with you for any kind of loss is tragic.