In Memoriam

Yesterday, I lost the closest thing I ever had to a real sister.  Granted, she was a dog, but still.  She was always around from the time I was nine until I got married.  And even then, she was still there when I went home.

It really wasn't a surprise.  I mean, we knew it was coming.  She was 15 years old, and since October, she'd been having stomach/eating troubles.  She was doing better for a while, but still.  Every time I left, actually, I knew I might be saying goodbye.

But then Monday, I knew I was saying goodbye for real.  She'd basically stopped eating, and it was extremely obvious that she was not herself.  She even let me carry her around for almost half an hour on Monday.  If she had been herself, she would have been wiggling after about two minutes.  If she lasted that long.  I must say, I am relieved that it happened now.  Especially during the school year, I was a little worried that something would happen and I wouldn't be able to make it home.  So, I was glad I got to see her this past weekend.
Seeing her so forlorn and sad made me think about what she used to be like.  And not in her old lady state -- back when she was younger.  In some ways, it's hard to pull back all those traits I'd gotten used to in recent years.  Like her aversion to walking in recent years.  When she was a puppy, she used to pick up her leash in her mouth like walking was the most exciting thing in the world.
She also used to play with me for hours.  Mom and dad always called me her playmate.  I was the one who she'd just keep bringing toys to as long as I was willing to sit on the floor with her.  Back when she used to play for more than 10 minutes.
And then there were all the times when she would force herself under my feet and lick my toes while I was baking.  That usually got me.  Somehow the licking was just too distracting while I was trying to cook or bake.  I feel bad now that I made her go away.

But then there were the times when something spilled (accidentally or not . . . ) and she was right there to clean it up for me.  Or to wait patiently (or not so patiently . . . ) for more to spill.

There were all the times that she just laid there on her bed and watched.  And she was just there.  Reassuring.  Another person, really.  Part of the family.
She was passionate about people, sniffing, tuna fish, her Kong, popcorn, camping, barking at squirrels/chipmunks, naps, treats, sunny spots and watching out the windows.
And now I miss her.  I  miss her a lot.  Every time the words "never" or "last" cross my mind, I tear up.  Maybe I'm pathetic.  She was just a dog.  But since I didn't have any siblings, she really did feel like my sister.
So this week has been a long strand activities to keep myself busy.  So what did I do yesterday to keep myself busy?  I made marshmallows.  It seemed like a nice long-term activity to keep me busy.  And they did. But I still miss her.


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