He’s dead, Jim!
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had anyone really close to me die. I’m only twenty-two, I only see my grandparents ever so often, and the only grandparent that has died died almost ten years ago, so I don’t remember a lot about him, let alone what it is like.
That being said, I’ve had dogs die on me. And many hamsters. Normally I didn’t notice them die, but then my dog, Rosy, died the Monday before Thanksgiving.
This has been really hard on me actually. I don’t know why. Maybe part of it had to do with the fact that myself and my sister care for her for almost two months, when she became paralyzed, before she died. We took her on walks every night, we got her outside when she had to go pee, we set up a wheelchair, we brought her to bed. My mom helped–oh you better believe she helped–but I was more involved with her than I had been in a long time.
Then one night she stopped eating, her heart started racing, and she couldn’t get up again. We put her down the next afternoon.
The thing is that this has been very different than the last times our dogs have died. For example, we had some old jeans that we chopped the pants off of, and then used a pant leg to carry her outside. We had four of these running around. When she died, we cleaned out the living room where she had been sleeping some, but not well enough. That next Friday, when I cleaned the room for really the first time, I found a pant leg.
Then a week or so later, when I was cleaning out the dogs’ clothes basket. (They confiscated a clothes basket for sleeping in.) I found another pant leg.
Things went back to normal. We started noticing less dog hair in the vacuum cleaner. She was our only dog that shed. No dog; no hair.
Then we moved back a couch and vacuumed underneath it. Tada! More Rosy hair. And this was last week.
We cleaned under the desk and we found her Elizabethan collar, aka, when she was Funnel Face. Which then reminds us of when she ran away and sliced her side on something and I found it after she came back inside and was laying on her living room floor. Or when she got her toe amputated. Or even when she got pressure ulcers and diaper rash at the very end. Those collars didn’t work too well for her though.
We clean the kitchen and we find her collar. Turns out my dad saved them all.
We clean the living room and find a soda bottle ripped apart. Used to give her a toy of a milk bone in a soda bottle. She was really good at getting them out.
Even when my dad bought a new dog, seeing Hope’s (another dog) reaction to the new dog reminded me of when we first brought Hope home. She was this scared little thing that sat in the front seat, shivering, and staring at the speakers the whole four hour long car ride home. We figure this won’t go over well, and instead, she greets Rosy with happiness and joy. After that, Rosy is her guardian, her protector. Wherever Rosy goes, Hope can go too.
The point I’m trying to make is that I knew the little things would remind me they would be gone. I knew the empty place behind the chair where she liked to sleep would be strange. Or not having to tell her to tell off the couch again. Or even taking the dogs on the walk and not taking her. But I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that things–phyiscal, actual things–would stay around to haunt long after she died. So I’ll have to remember this for my stories.
So far we’ve just found a soda bottle, some pants, hair, a collar. But I don’t know what else we might find. And I don’t think that just because she died about a month and a half ago that we’re done finding things either, even if it happens to be a picture on a camera.