Sunday

Pluto.

"Well what kind do you want?" His blue eyes reflected an impatience he wouldn't reveal to me just yet.

"I don't know, babe. They're all so cute," I stared at the timid faces behind the cages and thought how depressed dog shelters made me. "I just know he's gotta be big. And hairy."

"Well that sounds promising," he snickered and kissed my forehead. "Come this way, your highness. A doggie awaits."

As if a premonition struck him there it was, too big for his cage and barking loudly at me in excitement. His brown eyes sparkled as I put my hand near his face through the cracks, slobbery kisses my reward for being brave. I knew at that precise moment looking further would yield nothing of value. He was my chosen one. After half an hour of paperwork I was the proud owner of a yellow labrador named Pluto. My mom sounded half amused on the phone when I told her I was bringing him home. "I really don't care as long as he's not huge, okay?"

He weighed a hundred pounds.
The attendant explained the hurdles and obstacles of adopting an animal, reassuring me it was okay if we returned him. "You're the fourth family to adopt him," she sighed. "He's a bit of a project, this one." The warning signs flashed brightly before my eyes but like any woman in love, I was already in too deep.
It seems like yesterday I was nineteen and frolicking about the lake with him, chasing ducks and playing with his squeaky toy. Hard to believe a decade came and went with this being always faithfully by our sides.

When the doctor tried to explain himself it felt like he was speaking a language I'd never been taught. "Cancer?" I asked. "But he's never been sick a day in his life," I protested.

As I stood there in the rain Friday night and watched my friends bury him in our backyard, I was overcome with emotion at the fragility of life. How the things that really matter are revealed in an instant when we lose someone we love dearly, and how nothing can replace them once they are gone for good.
The hole you've left in our universe is impossible to fill, Big Guy, for you were and always will be our ninth planet. Please send us a sign they serve skirt steaks on Sundays in heaven.

Until then... We love you.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

awww Jo ! I am sooo sorry ;(

Jeff Evans said...

I'm so sorry. I said goodbye to Atari in February and my heart is still broken. We'll get over it, eventually, and just remember the good times, so I've been told. Much love to you, Gorgeous, and empathy, and sympathy.

lunamother said...

I'm so very sorry- their only flaw is that they don't live long enough. Hugs and tears going out to you, Annah.

Annah said...

Anon: Thank you.

Jeff: I know :( I'm sorry about Atari.

Lunamother: I couldn't agree more. It's a test in character, really. It's just incredibly hard. He was truly a blessing though. And I can't help but think it was meant to be for him to land in our home. My mom though... She's broken in pieces. Nothing I can say will console her.

Christy said...

Aww my friend! So sorry for your loss! I know how much you guys loved him! He's in doggy heaven now frolicking in lakes, chasing golden ducks and playing with his toys! Love you! Xoxo

Gia said...

Sniffle. I'm sorry. What a beautiful dog.

Candice said...

So sorry. That's all I can really say. :(

Smart Ass Sara said...

I should never have read this while PMS'ing. That was an incredibly dumb thing to do, but I am so sorry for your loss. :( But he was incredibly lucky to have found you because you were the one he was meant for. At least you know he had a better life because of you.

Odie Langley said...

I have been where you are my friend and share your hurt. When I was a teen I had a dog named Poochie that looked just line Benji and was with me 13 years and seemed healthy but was lying dead the next morning. She was my constant companion. I am so very sorry for your loss Annah.
Hugs,
Odie

Yvonne said...

Aww, I'm so sorry! What a beautiful tribute you wrote in his honor. Sending you hugs!

Anonymous said...

So sorry. That's all I can say. :(

Little redhead said...

So sorry for your loss. It's so hard to lose a pet, it really feels like you're losing a member of your family. But take comfort in knowing he had a happy old life, thanks to you! You gave him the loving family he was looking for.
My own sweet dog I grew up with is turning 14 soon and her health is really deteriorating. Really makes me feel overwhelmingly sad to realise she won't be around for years to come.

Althea said...

Aww, I'm sorry :( x

MonsteRawr said...

How sad that he's moved on to doggy heaven, but how wonderful that he was able to find such a warm and loving home with you!

bluemoon said...

I am so, so sorry for your loss. I lost my beloved lab, Mercy in February at 13 and it was the hardest thing I've ever gone through. Just know that your dog was loved and loved you and know that while you don't forget, you move forward and Pluto will stay with you in all the ways that matter. Hugs!

Zombie said...

It really breaks my hear to hear when a great friend passes. Sorry for your loss...

Balanced Idjit said...

I am NOT crying at work. :'( I am NOT.

Allison Brown said...

:( I'm so sorry for you, and for Pluto. A few years ago, my own dog died of cancer. He was a poodle-terrier mix, and he was 16...on my sweet sixteen I threw a party and did my own special karaoke tribute...I guess the animals we have always leave us changed!

Vina said...

It is so hard to lose a cherished friend. I'm very sorry for your heartache. <3

Annah said...

I'm sorry if I made some of you cry. I couldn't help but shed tears myself when I wrote this post. The thing is that even though I haven't been writing much lately (damn real life from trumping our dreams sometimes!), I find it helps to sort everything out. Whether it's the good, the bad, or in this case, the sad. I guess this time I will go with the whole "It's better to have loved and lost than never loved at all" motto. The experience was worth the pain and I'd do it all over again given the chance.

With that said I have all my other amazing animals that I love and will hopefully one day grieve for if God and the universe give me the opportunity to care for them until the end. Grrrrrr I promise nothing but funnies on the next post. I've been a bit of a Debbie Downer lately, sheesh.

Sorry, guys.

gramps said...

I lost one of my loves a couple of years ago----and still grieve
Three little loves left and they are getting older. Don't know how I will survive their loss

Damn---you brought tears to my eyes

gramps

monstergirlee said...

Oh hon, I am so sorry. It sucks so bad when you lose your friend.

Katerina said...

My heart aches for you. Nothing soothes the loss of a dear friend except time.
I hope for you, time is kind and sails you away on a speedy recovery.
Love, love, love xox

Mynx said...

So sorry for your loss of your beautiful pup. Sending hugs.

Rebekah Mae said...

Aw love I'm so sorry for your loss. It really amazes me that our pets can have such a huge impact in our lives, especially when we lose them. It's been almost a year since my cat Sexy Stud Muffin died from heart worm and I still haven't written about it because just thinking about it sends me into tears. But we will always have pictures and fond memories, and I like to think they'll be waiting for us on the other side. :)

Robin said...

We put our Gus down after 11 years, I so know how you feel. My heart goes out to you. I still cry and miss him everyday :(

Paige said...

I'm so sorry lady. I had to put my childhood dog down when I was 17 and it was one of the most heart wrenching moments of my life.

steph gas said...

i'm sorry annah :( it's always hard to lose a furry family member. i had to put my 16 year old manx taylor down in march and i still swear i hear him yowling from time to time.

writing it out definitely helps. i have numerous posts i've written about taylor, i just haven't posted them all because they're all pretty sappy and lame. but just writing them out has helped. <3 hugs and love.

Katsidhe said...

I'm so sorry, Annah-boo. I wish that there were better words. =(

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

I am so sorry... Dogs and cats do NOT live long enough. Not for the amount of love they evoke...

thoughtsappear.com said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Pluto.