As I write this, it's Monday, October 10th, and I'm tired. I'm tired because my stupid fucking cat kept waking me up last night. First he was doing some weird meowing/howling thing at the closed door, and then he started pawing at the door with his goofy claw-less oven mitt hands. The sound was surprisingly loud. But let me back up, and explain why I put up with this all night.
On Thursday, October 6th, at about 8:15 in the morning, I was about to walk out the door and go to work, so I called my dog Daisy over to me and scratched her behind the ear, saying goodbye. When I came back home that evening at about 6:00, I found out that she had gotten out of our fenced in backyard for what felt like the millionth time. It sucks, but it's not uncommon, and no matter how many times I've patched that fence, she's always found a new way to get out. It's just in her nature. She's big, strong, and determined to run around. She almost always comes back on her own after about 20 minutes. She sits on the front step and waits for us to open the door. It's awful, but it happens all the time. Once, a couple of years ago, she disappeared for 6 days, eventually being returned to us a little skinnier than when she left. It was infuriating. But she seemed pretty bulletproof. Just a goofy animal who wants to run around, but is always okay and means well and wants to see us again. Unfortunately, an hour after she got out of the house, we got a call from a cop. Daisy had been struck by a car. The driver took off, and my dog died.
It was horrible. It was incredibly surreal. I felt woozy. I remember everything I did that night as if it's a story I made up. It still feels unreal today.
I loved my dog. So much. She gave me a sense of responsibility that I never felt before. I felt like she was mine. It was almost a paternal experience. She was such a weaselly pain in the ass, always pushing to get her way. So as much as I got to play with her, I also had to be an authority figure.
And I was always afraid of her in the road. When I walked her, I would make her sit and stay at every street corner, only allowing her to walk again when any cars had passed us. I knew it probably wasn't clear to her what I was trying to teach her, but I always just hoped that she would realize there was a reason why I did that.
I'm getting off-point.
Anyway, in that evening, I was a wreck, but I had a focus on taking care of her. And I did. After all of the necessary my-dog-just-died stuff was through, it was worse.
It was literally done. In a matter of hours. Just over.
I didn't really know what to do. I thought I would be okay. You can hardly be in denial over something you've been actively dealing with, so I figured I would just struggle to stop missing her, and then I'd be okay.
Friday I went to work, and I had enough to do that I was suitably distracted. That evening I crashed on my bed, exhausted from the previous evening. Saturday, I woke up feeling almost catatonic. I didn't want to move. I didn't want to get out of bed. I didn't want to go anywhere or do anything. All I wanted to do was torture myself over Daisy's death. I missed her so much. So much. So goddamn much. So much that I really can't do it justice. I can't really accurately describe how weighted down I felt. My hands were heavy useless anvils, my feet were dragging. And I was dizzy just looking around. It was almost as if I was looking down from the top of a tall building, standing on the ledge. I had that uneasy feeling like I was about to fall. That's probably actually a very accurate comparison. I think we all know that "standing on a ledge" feeling. All I wanted was my dog.
I didn't start feeling better until I was talking about her with other people and discussing what happened, how much we loved her, and how much we'll miss her. It was against all my instincts to share like that. I've always felt like it's some lame cliche that you need to open up with other people. I felt like it was a weak thing to do. But I definitely can't deny it's importance now. I was able to move on just a little bit.
Now I realize that I'm talking about a dog. And believe me, I'm fully aware that there are worse things happening everywhere. People have lost siblings and parents, and I don't at all mean to trivialize the loss of a family member or friend, as extreme as I say I feel about losing Daisy. But I should also say that I spent every day with this dog. She had a distinct personality. She was intelligent and pushy. I know her voice. She used to alternatively get pissy with me if I wasn't waking up early enough for her liking, or try to pretend she didn't hear me if she was still in bed and I was up. Some days she would pounce on me and huff at me for staying in bed. She'd poke her big fat nose into my face to prod me awake. Other days, I'd call her name to get her up and out of bed and I'd see her eyes dart over to where I was standing and then quickly look away again, as if maybe I didn't know she was awake. She was trying to get away with something. She was funny. She was big. She was really really important to me.
She loved my family so much. And she loved our other dog, Harley. And everybody loved her. We're all pretty wrecked. One of my favorite things about Daisy was how much she loved my girlfriend. Daisy would literally tackle Allie, so that she could lick her face. She was so excited all she wanted to do was freak out and great her. I used to joke around and say that if Daisy didn't approve of Allie, we'd have a problem. But it was so the opposite of that joke. Sometimes Daisy seemed more excited to see Allie than she was anytime I came home. I fully expected to be living with Daisy for another 10 years. I'm killing myself writing this. Stupid.
I've got to wrap this up.
So now I come home and I don't have some goofy dog jumping all over me, ecstatic that I'm home. I don't have Daisy lying at my feet, extending her leg at me, trying to get me to hold her paw while I read or watch TV. It's over. Last night, in her absence, I decided I didn't want to sleep alone, so I grabbed one of the cats, Merlin (who seems pretty stoked that she's gone by the way. Now he can do whatever the hell he wants) and brought him into my bedroom. Nothing but bullshit all night.
All this to memorialize a dog and to establish that cats...kind of suck.
Daisy was almost 4: