Dancing to Dirges

Depressing and happy things Tim says, sometimes while drunk

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A conversation about Love

I've been hesitating to write this post, because it implies some sort of closure, and I think it's a while before I'll have closure on this. Also because I'm trying to make this blog less about my personal tragedy. But I've also come to realize that this journal is more for me than it is for you. It's more of a public record of me, of who I am, a reflection of my mental and emotional state at this moment. I've been going back and reading about myself.

Anyway. In case you don't know, or haven't figured it out, this is a post about my dog.

We got Phae a little over a year after we got married. It was probably too early for us to get a dog, but we wanted one, and the timing worked out really well. When we went to look at her, she and her brother were romping around, causing trouble, eating grass. She threw up in the car on the way home. I slept on the floor next to her crate that first night, so she wouldn't whine so much.

Phaedrus was always full of love. She was patient, she was gentle... frankly, she was the sweetest dog you would ever meet. We loved her every day of her life, and she tolerated that love, because it was her due.

I have a thousand stories, but I'm going to keep them to myself. Suffice it to say that she played hard, felt bad when she caused trouble, and loved to steal pizza out of the trash or off of an unattended plate. These last few years have been hard. Watching her decline hasn't been easy. But it was easier than this part.

She has been suffering from fluid on the lungs since Thanksgiving. Last Thursday night she was having some trouble with it, but no worse than she's had a dozen times since it started. I got her up and got her leash on for a little walk, since sometimes that helps. A year ago we were able to get her to walk down to the end of the block before her legs gave out. Recently it's just been around the house. That night I was able to get her to the front yard, but I had to carry her back inside. We propped her up so she could breath easier, got her a little water, and then went to bed. At 2:30, Jen checked on her. She was sleeping peacefully. Maybe even dreaming.

She never woke up. I found her the next morning, right where I had laid her down. Still. I can't tell you how empty she looked.

It's been a hard weekend for us. It's hard, right now, thinking about it. It's going to be difficult for quite a while. Every time I walk into the main room, I'm going to look at where she usually was, to see how she's doing. I'm going to hear things in the house, sounds, and think it's the dog settling down to sleep, or getting up for a drink, or just huffing in her dreams. The house is going to feel empty for quite a while.

We named her Phaedrus, after the character in the Socratic dialogues who starts the conversation on Love. She was, and is, true to that name.

She was a good dog, and I loved her. I miss her. I always will.


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