1. Hiking. Woke up this morning to no Dexter. No cuddles in bed, no happy dance while I made his breakfast, no invitation to play with his baby. I am realizing with him gone how much he did to lift my mood, bring me joy, every moment I was with him. He was just such a happy dog, full of so much energy, even with cancer. We couldn’t stand to take our normal walk this morning to Lee Martinez Park without him, so we went to Big South and hiked for four hours instead. It was a beautiful hike, good to be somewhere different.
2. Samson. Eric and I took turns on this morning’s hike walking the dog, the dog we have to share, the dog who has brought us out of our grief over two losses now (he came to live with us four months after our Obi died), Mr. Sam. I can tell he’s trying so hard to know what to do, now that he is the only dog, and I’m making sure to do what I can to love him double and let him know that it’s okay, he doesn’t have to do anything, just be the goofy loveable dude he’s always been.
3. Home to Heaven, kind and wise caregivers like Dr. Cooney who will come to your home to help you let your loved one go, to release them gently from their suffering, all the while asking you all kinds of questions, letting you tell stories about how they came into your life, what you love about them, giving you all the time you need. Other than a brief moment when we thought Dexter might throw up (his belly hadn’t been feeling too good all day and the sedative made him feel a little woozy), it was an easy death for Dexter, peaceful and gentle, and I am so grateful for that.
4. Kind, generous friends. I’m not talking about just my local people, I mean all of you out there, people I barely know or have never even met, all of my kind and gentle readers and friends sent us so much love and support yesterday and into today. Knowing we are so loved, being sent so much good energy, made things much lighter — I did not have to carry this sadness alone. We absolutely were not alone in our loss, and I am so so grateful.
5. Eric. I have no idea how I would have made it through Dexter’s (and Obi’s) cancer and loss without him there to support me, to suffer with me, to cheer me up, hold me when I cry, cry with me, help me make the hardest of decisions. Having the right partner, a good fit and a good person, is such a blessing.
Bonus Joy: We didn’t make it a whole week this time, but still I am so grateful for our final days with the sweet Mr. Dexter. These are the last two pictures I ever took of him. I miss him so much, but I’m so glad he won’t have to suffer anymore.