Please Don’t Leave Me
She has a pretty face. The groomers at Petco call it a teddy bear. For the past several months, when I picked her up in the morning to carry her downstairs, I’ve held her like a child.
“I love you,” I’d say. “I love your face. I love you to pieces.”
She always has energy. She always wants to go for a longer walk. But she is a bit older now. I remember when Pokemon Go came out, and we walked so much one day, and she finally said, “No more. Mom, I think you finally wore me out.” I picked her up and carried her like a baby back to our house. Someone asked me who was walking who.
She sits in my lap now. I’m driving back from the Animal Hospital. She woke up two days ago, she wasn’t okay. She’s 16 years old. I have had to think about this day. It doesn’t make it easier.
I told my friend a few years ago I was going to get a puppy. I had baby fever like crazy. My arms have always been aching. But I went home to visit one year, and I found Amy being bullied by the new puppy in my family. Just a mismatch in temperament. So I took her home with me.
I’ve really only had her three years. Someone pointed that out the other day — “So you’re a relatively new owner.” I don’t know what that means. She was born the month before I graduated Basic Training. She is as old as my career. She is midnight cuddles and maternity photos and flights cross-country because I couldn’t bear to be apart from her. She was my baby before I lost my baby, and my biggest comfort after.
I fed her shredded chicken with my fingers this morning. The vet prescribed her steroids. She actually has an appetite. I gave her a piece of my blueberry scone. I guess it doesn’t matter now what’s good for her in the long run.
So she’s sitting on my lap now, and I’m driving home from the hospital, and I’m waiting to feel something. I think that’s the hard part. Because for the past two months of my life, I haven’t; I haven’t felt much of anything.
She’s sitting on my lap now, and I’m waiting for the tears to come, and I’m wondering if they ever will. I’m wondering if there is a limit to heartbreak. I’m wondering if I will ever love again.