It’s been two days since Buddy died. Wednesday I was in shock. My Fitbit notified me I walked 10,000 steps that day, and almost all of them were from walking around here not knowing what to do.
Thursday was a fog. I worked my regular job and even delivered some groceries, mostly to keep myself busy and focused.
Today I have that dull ache in my chest. True, Buddy was only with me two months, but in those two months we developed patterns. I got up with the alarm clock and had set break times because I knew Buddy would need to go outside and potty. We walked around the block to check his pee-mails. Each night he expected a Greenies dog chew; I called it brushing his teeth. Now I catch myself headed to do those things and realize one more time that he’s not here.
Picking up Buddy’s ashes today at the vet clinic was awful. Two days after his death I walked into the last place I saw him alive and tried to keep it together while everyone around me was happy. No one offered condolences. Actually, the chirpy little twit at the front desk told me to have a nice day. I really wanted to say “fuck you too bitch” but I didn’t.
I don’t think I’ll be going back to that vet clinic anytime soon. No, I don’t blame them for Buddy’s death. And no, I don’t think the vet who saw him the day before he died was negligent. But Buddy bit a vet tech on her forearm and I was told she might need stitches, yet when I asked about it I was told not to worry. Of course I worry. Would that tech or another employee hold an unconscious bias against one of my cats or another dog when I get one? Would I know if that happened? And yeah, if I’m being honest I am upset that I spent $1,000 over two days at that place and all I have to show for it is a wooden box with what’s left of my dog inside and three bottles of meds my dog will never take. It’s not rational, I know, but it’s how I feel.
Along with the wooden box of ashes came a printout of the “Rainbow Bridge” poem and a velour bag embroidered with a quote from that same poem covering the wooden box . Why does everything have to cater to believers? Why are the values of non-believers never taken into consideration? Y’all look, I’m an atheist, so I don’t believe in all that Rainbow Bridge stuff. I don’t say that often because when I’m depressed I don’t want to make waves and when I’m not depressed I don’t feel it’s worth getting into it about, but all I believe happened was Buddy died and he will live on only in my memory and the memories of those who knew him. My beliefs are just as valid as anyone else’s, and I wish they were treated as such, especially at times when I’m hurting.
Same is true with people who offer me prayers and thoughts of comfort that I will see Buddy again. Nope, none of that helps. Pray if it makes you feel better, but it does nothing for me. I won’t see Buddy again, except in photos and in my thoughts.
Neither does it comfort me that Buddy had two good months with me. This is not rational either, but I am mad as hell at Buddy. We were still getting to know each other but I thought we had a good thing going. I felt safe when he was here. I felt loved. Now all I feel is empty. I’m mad that he left me. I’m mad that he didn’t warn me he had to go. And I’m mad that if he did try to warn me I didn’t notice.
I’m not sure yet about getting another dog. It took me two years after Rumpy’s death to take on Buddy. Part of me wants to go ahead and start looking but another part of me isn’t ready. Then there’s the accountant part of me that says I need to replenish my savings that I spent on Buddy before I even think about getting another dog.
So what to do with the meds and the food in this time of COVID? I’m not sure. I have most of a 30 lb bag of Royal Canin Sensitive Skin Care kibble and meds for hyperthyroidism, lick granulomas and pain management. I have poop bags and flea and tick preventative. I have six bottles of RestoraPet Supplements I was sent to try but never could get Buddy to take. What the hell do I do with all that? Give it away? Trash it? Let it sit on the counter forever while I decide?
Some of you have been there and understand at least some of what I’ve written. Some of you won’t get it and will write me off as a nutjob. After all, Buddy was just a dog and I didn’t even have him that long. I should get over it, adopt another dog and move on. It’s true I am pretty flaky sometimes, but I have to grieve, and this is how it’s going down this time.
Maybe putting my thoughts to blog post will help someone somewhere down the line. Maybe not. But this is where I’m at today. To pretend otherwise won’t change anything.