March 22 – I went to work yesterday afternoon for a while. It was tough. David, the girls, John and Tyler sent me flowers. That was very thoughtful of them. They are beautiful. After work, I ran home to get David. Hobart had asked us out for dinner. It was a good thing – to get me out of the house, and distracted. Lee called me at some point in the evening. He was almost as upset as I was. He is a wonderful veterinarian, and he did everything he could for my Josie-girl.
When we got home, it was hell. It was hard sitting in the living room without her. I cried myself to sleep. It hurts so bad. Josie is not laying by my side, snuggled up against my back or under the covers. I didn’t wake up to her pouncing on me, licking my face until I gave her my full attention. I went through the motions getting ready this morning. On both my home and work computer, Josie is my screensaver. At work today, I can’t tell you how many times I looked into those beautiful brown eyes, and she’s gazing back at me. I shed my share of tears sitting at my desk.
But on the way home, it really hit me. I got all choked up driving down Shorter Avenue. This will be the worst time – coming home and she’s not here. I drove into the driveway, sat there and cried for about 15 minutes. No excited barking at the window – no little face dancing behind the curtains. Nothing. When I got the nerve up to come inside, there was no Josie greeting me at the door. No excited “happy dance” to see mama. Chaco (the new puppy Katherine rescued) was here, but I almost resent him being here. It’s not his fault, and he is a sweet puppy.
David had cleaned up around the house. He put away all the covers I had made into a pallet, washed all the sleeping bags, etc… He meant well by removing Josie’s things, thinking it would be easier for me, but it’s too early for me to do that. I need the reminders right now, even if it is her empty bed. I’m comforted having her bed by my bed. I’m glad I didn’t throw out all of her toys after the traumatic dental visit to the vet (that’s a story for later) I don’t know what I am going to do with them, but I know I will do something to remember her by.
March 23 – I have a new morning ritual. When I go outside (first thing) to feed the cats, I take a minute, just some quiet time for myself. I listen to the birds, listen for the squirrels, everything Josie would have heard every morning when we came outside. Sometimes we’re too busy to stop and enjoy the little things in life – and I’m going to enjoy those little things for Josie. I say a little prayer. Smile, remembering how much joy she brought me – and sad that she’s not at my feet.
Lisa and I went out for drinks after work to celebrate the lives of our pups. She had to make the decision earlier this year with her Grindle. Charlotte joined us. She’s a great animal lover too. I told Josie’s story to Charlotte, who was intently listening. It turns out that several years ago when she lived in Florida, she had a chocolate long haired dachshund named Chelsea. Turns out Chelsea died from AIHA too. Her Chelsea had had several transfusions, and had a longer road to the end. But we both were in “shock” that they had that in common. She had purchased Chelsea at a pet store – the only pup she has bought from a pet store – and she always thought Chelsea got AIHA because she was from a puppy mill. Knowing that Josie came from close friends, that provided her with some relief. So Josie even brought Charlotte peace. We sat there for a while – all of us sharing stories about beloved animals – past and present. I am blessed with such wonderful friends.