Instead, indulge me for a few moments.
It's been a little over a month since my beautiful Shepherd rescue, Sara, crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Though she was 13.5 years old, her passing was sudden and unexpected. In fact, she had been in excellent health all of her life, even as she became an elder dog. She was my first pet to die. I'm 51 years old, and while I assumed that moment, and some time afterward, would be difficult to deal with, I'm surprised by just how jarring this has been. Sara, and my other Shepherd rescue, Daisy (also 13.5 years old), went to work with me every day and, of course, spent every night at home either sleeping beside me, or on the floor at the foot of my bed. They were with me all the time. In fact, other than an overnight hospital stay after I had spine surgery, and the two or three times they had surgeries themselves, I don't think we were ever apart for more than a half-day or so.
That kind of time together, and our daily routines, went beyond having a bond. It seemed, at times, as if we were a single unit. Which is perhaps why I've felt as if my life is so disrupted since November 18th. Daisy and I still go to work together every morning, and we come home together at night, as we always have. But our mutual companion, Sara, is no longer there. It's an emptiness that won't be filled. A sadness that won't go away. I suppose it's a testament to just how much Sara meant to me, but I find little comfort in that.
As you might expect, as a man I've taken some measure of pride in going years, even longer than a decade, without crying. That facade of machismo (or whatever you might want to call it) was blown out of the water. I cried the night Sara died, and for days after. Even now, as I type this, I feel tears welling up in my eyes. It happens when I think of hugging her. When I look over at her doggie bed that still sits in the same place on my floor. When I glance at the mahogany box that now holds her ashes. I love and miss that dog. I thank her for giving me so many great years. And so does Daisy. She misses Sara too.
Be well my "Bear."
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