Friday, July 29, 2011

Jasper Tails - There will be tears

So we've made it through the third week.  It hasn't all been sad, there are long periods of time when our minds are occupied with other thoughts.  House problems have dominated a huge portion of the last three weeks, unfortunately.  Then, without warning, while doing something innocent like eating, the memories come and punch me in the gut.  There's no one to share pizza (french fries, potato chips, marshmallows, bacon, sandwiches, pop-tarts, peanut butter, bagels, steak, ribs, cookies) with.  There's no one to take out first thing in the morning or last thing at night.  There's no one to greet me when I come home from the store.  There's no one to make me feel guilty when I go out to the store.  There's no one sleeping on my side of the bed or couch.  There's no one looking straight at me while climbing up on my side of the bed or couch.

It's heartbreaking.  I can honestly say there hasn't been a day in over a month that I haven't cried. Believe me, this does nothing for the skin, my under-eye area looks like a buffalo wallow.  Sometimes I can go the whole day without tears (ok, that's only happened once) but before I fall asleep, the thoughts take over.  I am helpless as my mind goes over the last few weeks, second guessing every decision.  What if I had zigged instead of zagged?  Would the outcome have been different?  Did we wait too long or didn't we wait long enough?  I can put most of these to rest because I know we did everything we could but it takes all my strength to think of other things long enough to go to sleep.  And I hate crying myself to sleep because it makes it hard to breathe.

It's different living without a dog. I've not been dog-less since the age of 6 and considering how ancient I am now, that's a really long time! Well meaning people have suggested that we go out and get another dog but I've always known that there wouldn't be any more dogs after Jasper, at least not for a good long while. L.M. Montgomery put it best in Anne's House of Dreams when Capt. Jim said,
"I had a dog once.  I thought so much of him that when he died I couldn't bear the thought of getting another in his place.  He was a friend - you understand, Mistress Blythe? Matey (cat) is only a pal...but I loved my dog."
Or when Leslie said,
"Not just now, thank you, Anne.  I don't feel like having another dog yet.  I don't seem to have any affection left for another.  Perhaps - in time - I'll let you give me one...but there was something almost human about Carlo -- it wouldn't be decent to fill his place too hurriedly, dear old fellow."
Being dog-less has only one advantage (that I can see right now), it allows us to travel without restriction.  We do love travel and it's not like we stayed home for 15 years but we were always very aware that trips couldn't last too long and we missed Jasper like crazy.  The last couple of years we've made sure we didn't stay away too long because he wouldn't eat well when we weren't home.  Now, there's no reason to rush home.

And so, travel is probably on the immediate horizon for us.  I can accompany T for business and we can spend a little longer in the pool whenever we're down in Florida.  We can even start thinking of that 2 week Med. cruise or the 15 day cruise to Hawaii we've never been able to contemplate before.  It's good, but it's bittersweet.

Since I never like to end things on a negative note, here's a fun picture to make you smile.

Jasper with his BFF Hedgie


  1. Don't second guess yourself! You loved Jasper and did as any good parents would do...everything that you could.
    The pain won't necessarily get better, just more tolerable. More days will go by when you don't cry. You'll think less of the sad and more of the happy times.
    It's hard now, but it will get easier over time. A big part of you will always miss him...and that's okay. You can still be sad and happy too.

    P.S. I don't blame you for not wanting another dog.
    We have friends that got a "replacement" dog when the dog they had got old. Can you imagine?

  2. It took me six years to get another dog after losing King. You'll know when it's right to get another dog. There will come a time when you'll remember the fun more than the tragedy and you might just think it's okay to risk it yet again. It always is worth the risk..the love is worth the pain. Reilly is so unlike any other golden-lab I've had, security is his mission, and he doesn't like to be cuddled. Only when he's in bed or waking up in the morning will he allow cuddling, but he's still so loved. Yes, it's worth it.


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