It’s been a little over a month since my little Bird left us.
It’s taken almost six weeks, but I think I’ve finally realized that she’s not coming back. All this time, it’s felt like she’s been somewhere else, just temporarily, and eventually she’ll just home come and we can resume life as normal. I’m fairly certain that’s why I still haven’t been back to the vet to collect her ashes. It’s too final.
But I suppose I’ll need to do that eventually.
There were many little daily adjustments that had to be made. Daily heartbreaks really. Chloe couldn’t/wouldn’t go down the wooden stairs (carpet were fine), so it became habit for me, when leaving the house, to scoop up Eli, turn and scoop up Chloe, and head downstairs. I kept turning…but there was no Chloe waiting for me to pick up.
At night, I’d feel around the bed for her, or just expect to see her blonde fur. But nothing. No Chloe.
Watching Sammy be depressed was also heartbreaking. How do you explain to a dog that his big Sis is not coming home? I’m glad though, that finally, Sammy does seem better. He’s moving on.
And so am I. I don’t cry every day – although, sitting down to write this post I’ve burst a pipe. I try not to think about her too much, to be honest, because it’s such a helpless feeling.
People have asked if we are planning on getting another dog, and I’m fairly certain the answer is yes. Not yet, but eventually. Sammy really can’t stand Eli, and it would be nice for him to have a shot with a dog who may play with him and enjoy him a little. But that’s what another dog would be – another dog – not a replacement. It’s clear to me that Chloe was my special dog, and I can’t really expect to have another Chloe, because one just doesn’t exist. I get that.
In the meantime, this guy:
Is pretty much being spoiled rotten. He’s getting table scraps (GASP), endless cuddles, and lots of long walks. I can’t really help the spoiling. One of the things that killed me with Chloe, was that I didn’t let her have much in the way of people food, because it messed up her stomach. She LOVED chicken, though, in an obsessive, odd sort of way (one of the reasons we called her “Bird”), and it broke my heart that she didn’t get to eat it as often as she would have liked. So I’m compensating with Sammy, I suppose. Nothing bad for him or processed, of course. But he’s a funny dog who loves his veggies, juicer pulp, and fruit, in addition to whatever meat James is cooking up.
Is also soaking up the extra love. And both of my furry boys have been extra sweet to me, so I appreciate that.
And of course, I’ve got these two:
And now, if you were wondering how the sugar detox is going…
Now you know.
I’d ask where the weekend went, but I already know. We’re slowly adjusting to life without Chloe. For a 4 lb dog that spent most of the day snuggled up on the couch, she sure left a big space behind. Thank you all so much for your kind words on Facebook and here; we appreciate it so much.
Amazingly, life goes on.
The CSA box gets picked up.
Eli wakes up far too early.
And Mommy and Daddy drown their sorrows in a late night game of Rummy with a slightly inappropriate amount of gin. And kale chips.
Today we’re going into DC to spend the afternoon with some friends, eat something delicious, drink something strong, and have some much needed diversion.
I can’t stop myself from looking at pictures of Chloe and every time I do, I’m sitting here in tears. 16 year old Sarah would be writing copious amounts of dramatic poetry and posting it to LiveJournal. I have my blog now. I’ll try not to post any poetry.
Crying is good though. It’s the pain coming out. I know that.
I’ve also got to focus on this little guy.
He’s never known life without Chloe and he is a very emotional little man. I’m trying not to be ridiculous and give him bites of everything I eat and cuddle him non-stop — and I’m failing miserably. We will adjust though. I know.
It’ll just take some time.
Yesterday was a bad day. A very bad, no good, very bad day.
But instead of reliving the badness of yesterday through words, I’m choosing to write about the beautiful memories left behind.
My little pup, Chloe. She had plenty of other names. Bird. Birdy Bird. Chloe Bird. Bird nation. Munchy. Chloe-eesha. She responded to all of them. She was with me when I graduated High School. I remember that she fit in the cut off end of a tube sock. My mother and I had gone shopping for fabric. I had this idea that I was going to line my walls with decadent fabrics. Probably something I saw in a Middle Eastern restaurant. We came home with Chloe.
She never had a “puppy” stage. She hated to do things incorrectly. She was always a little lady. Always peed on three legs, because she didn’t want pee to inadvertently touch her. She hated to go outside when it was raining. Or snowing. Or just too cold. Or too hot.
She was great on road trips. As long as she was with her people, she really didn’t care where she was or what was happening. She loved her family. With the exception of perhaps Eli and Kitty. I’m sure she thought I’d lost my mind when we brought Eli home.
She was with me when I lived in Connecticut. She fell in love with James too.
She moved with us to Massachusetts.
Then to Maryland.
She barked at everything.
If there was a purse, a bag, a pile of clothes, something soft – you could be sure to find a Chloe in it.
She slept in our bed every night. For the past month or so she had taken to cuddling very close to us, which was unusual for her. Maybe she knew.
I have to say, I was really unprepared for this, even though when I woke up Friday morning, I knew. Poodles are supposed to live forever. Or at least, much longer than ten years. I wanted at least two decades out of my little Bird.
The house is too quiet. Strangely empty, even though Sammy’s here, Eli’s here, Kitty’s here, James is here. But Chloe isn’t. And I miss her so much.
I’ve lost a dear sweet furry friend before. Taffy, Chloe’s big sister (not by blood, but by family) left us back in 2006. I kept her going too long, and it was selfish of me. That’s why I didn’t hesitate to let Chloe go. I knew it was the right thing. For her. Not for me.
I know some people won’t understand. But I never wanted kids. I’ve always loved animals. Dogs especially. Chloe was my baby. I would have gladly stepped in front of a truck for her. No, it’s not the same as I feel for my son. That’s different. But it’s huge. Immense. And a very big part of my life.
I’m grateful that Chloe chose me to be her person.
And I’m thankful that she’s no longer in pain and can finally rest. I told her yesterday, as I held her and stroked her sweet little head, You’re going to the best place. Taffy will be there, you can lick her eyeballs (a favorite pastime) and there’s going to be unlimited rostisserie chickens. You can eat FOREVER if you want. And you’ll never get a tummy ache. And it’ll never rain or be too cold or hot. And you’ll always get cuddles. And there will always be a fresh pile of laundry right out of the dryer – just for you.
I know eventually I will be able to think about her without crying. Not today and not tomorrow. But eventually.
Yesterday, after Chloe had passed away silently and peacefully in my arms, the vet said something that did make me feel a little better. She said, “Isn’t it wonderful that we can give them this? A quick, painless passing. No more suffering.”
Yes, it is.
Rest easy, little girl. Mommy loves you.