The other day we nearly lost a second dog to an accident. You might think that having gone through a similar experience before, we could find a way to deal with it. But no, this was different, this dog is smaller, a lot more in need of love, this time we love and at the same time pity him, this time we’ve owned him longer, are more used to him. This time we are much older and need his companionship more. This time rubbish! The excuses are many, but the fact remains that we are never ready for a loss.
I think of all the things people would have told us if we were to lose him. “Toby is now in dog heaven.” Really? What kind of heaven requires convulsion, vomiting, and worse before giving a pre-entry requirement? Am I supposed to be sad now that he has been denied permission to enter that wonderful dog heaven?
“He was lucky to have you.” Oh, yeah? Just how lucky is a dog that ends up with owners who leave snail bait around the yard?
True solace only comes from knowing that we have saved him, from the fact that we have our Toby and aren’t forced to once again go through shelters in search of a replacement, hoping to fill the gap he would have left behind. The truth is, we don’t know anything about life and death. Is death the end or the beginning? I am trying hard to regain my calm, but right now it’s too damn hard.
Today I went on my usual visit to Mally’s. Each time I see that lovely photograph on her stone, I so badly want to imagine her in a better place, that there will be a reunion on the other side. But the bitter reality is that I have lost her. My Mally wasn’t as lucky as Toby. The human hospital was not equipped enough to fight whatever poison was killing my friend.
I know that after a good night’s sleep I may feel differently. But at this moment, I feel only deep rage. I am angry for those I knew well, for Jim whom I barely knew and even for Amir, whom I never met. Each loss revives the pain of all the other losses. They pile up and weigh heavy on ones heart to a point where nothing can stop the pain. We are never strong enough for that. We try to believe we understand. How can anyone understand something that is so inexplicable?