Where in the World is… (Sort of A Week in Review)
Damn it’s been quiet around here lately.
<looking over my posts in the past two weeks>
Sheesh, only one post of any merit since my birthday celebration? Ugh. So…this is more than “A” Week in Review. More like “A Whole Lot of Days in Review.” But I won’t bore you with a day-by-day (hell I couldn’t remember everything day-by-day!) And this may get a bit long and rambly, or even get broken up into pieces. /disclaimer and all that.
I really have tried to write.
Mostly I have been too busy and tired and stressed and other not-optimal-to-writing things to even think about writing. Then, when I did have time and physical energy…well, the emotional energy wasn’t there. The well had run kinda dry.
Make that bone dry.
Slowly, though, I’ve been inching my way toward sitting down here at the old laptop and putting fingers-to-keyboard again. The past couple of nights I’ve let myself fiddle-fart around a bit with the blog layout and design, nothing too drastic, but that let me hang out here without feeling the pressure to produce, yanno? And I’ve been fooling around on social media a wee bit again (though have been conspicuously absent on Fetlife, for some reason. Maybe because my kink well is even drier than my creative well? I dunno.)
It’s not like I haven’t been having myself some fun; haven’t been playing a bit and flirting a bit; haven’t been thinking about sex and kink and stuff. It’s just that…I don’t know…even in the middle of the things I’d been doing I could feel myself withdrawing into myself, holding back (or being held back) in some way. Not because I chose to hold back, but because there’s a part of me that is just…small and tired and needing some time and space to…to what? Recalibrate, as W calls it? Or maybe recover?
Or maybe rebalance myself. (I know it’s not a word. Guess what. I don’t care.)
Oddly enough, all of my yoga practices have been focused on balance poses lately (as led by my instructors, not because *I* am choosing them.) Even more oddly, at the “beginning” of all this, I couldn’t find that balance in any of my poses. I was literally falling over when I tried even the simplest of poses. So I took a step back and I backed off extending myself and instead focused my practice inside, and tried to find my balance there. I haven’t quite found it yet, but I am making small, but significant steps. And it feels good, and right.
So, here we are. Where have I been and what have I been these past few weeks? Quite a lot, as it turns out.
The last time I was “here” (as in the blog and emotionally) was when I wasn’t here – when I talked about my dog dying. So, ugh. I guess I gotta deal with that here. I’m sorry – feel free to skip this part. For real, because it will be sad and not sexy and probably boring. But it affected me far more deeply than I ever expected, and I have been dealing with those emotions ever since…
So, yeah, I gotta blog about it.
I’ve never seen an animal die. I know, hard to believe I have managed to live this long without seeing it, especially as we always had dogs and cats when I was a kid, and later a pony and horses.
I chose to go to the vet when Cooper’s time came. I think Ad would have gone alone, he’s dealt with the death of several pets, as have most adults over the age of 30 or so, and he knew how hard this – watching him die – had been on me. But I couldn’t let him do that, and I wanted to be with Cooper, to say goodbye to him. My daughter came too, bless her kindness. And it was…rough. I’m not going to go into details (you can read The Missy’s somewhat-black-humorish account here. But it’s also a tear-jerker, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.) It wasn’t as awful as I had anticipated, though. Once it happened it was done. Really, it was the waiting and watching him waste away, and knowing I had to make the decision, that was worse.
But afterwards…well. It’s been hard. I miss him. Far more than I ever imagined I would. I’m not a “my pet is my pseudo-child” kind of person. And there was never a moment in my thoughts when I had to debate whether or not I should spend the $2,000+ dollars to see if what he had was a benign or malignant tumor. I’m sorry if that offends those of you out there that feel I’m a heartless bitch because I wouldn’t do it, but I am at peace with my decision. I had already spent almost $800 in various vet visits to try to see if it was something that could be treated with medications, etc. When they said the next step was a $600 ultra sound, and that would only tell us if the mass in his belly actually WAS a tumor, and that to know if it was benign they’d have to do surgery, which would be another $2k or more, and then if it was cancer there would be options for radiation, etc… Well. That was when I knew it was time to say goodbye.
What I didn’t know was that I would grieve him. That I wouldn’t just feel sad, but that it would be true, deep, grief. It really shook me. And – this is going to sound really fucked up – that I would grieve for him more than I ever did my sister when she passed away last April.
I know that sounds shitty. And I did grieve for her, but it was once-removed. I hadn’t spoken to her in more than twenty years, and the end between us hadn’t been good. She had driven me to cut her from my life, and in a weird way, I had done most of my grieving for her all those years ago. When she died, I grieved for the relationship we could have had, should have had. I grieved for the little girl I had been, and for the sister that, honestly, I never really knew.
But I had known Cooper. He had been a part of my life since my divorce, the only pet that had ever been mine, the only pet that I had ever had from the beginning of his life (since he was 6 months) to the end. Ten years. And fuck I miss his doggy smile, his always wagging tail, his warmth on my feet under the table. I miss his presence in the house when no one else is here, and every single time I come down those stairs when I get home from work, my breath catches in my throat and I have to bite back tears because he isn’t there to greet me.
I went to lunch with Ad’s family shortly thereafter, and I was truly shocked when they first commiserated with me, then immediately asked if I was going to get another dog. Like…getting another pair of shoes because the soles wore out on my old ones! I know they didn’t mean it that way, they are kind and considerate people, but I truly was a bit offended.
And the truth is, I don’t want another pet. I don’t ever want another pet, I said, over and over in the days leading up to his death. And I meant it.
But that has me questioning my own assertion that it is “better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.” Maybe I don’t believe what I have always thought was a core belief after all.
I’ve been working through it slowly. It felt really good and right to take his leftover dog food to the animal shelter. It felt less good to help Ad get rid of all his stuff – his leashes and toys and bed and feeding bowls. But it is necessary, and it’s easier not to accidentally see them. I still have a hard time talking about him, but I am confident that soon that will fade as well. And maybe I’ll even go over to a friend’s for a “doggie play date” to play with her dogs one day.
And hey – I’m back here writing! :-)
So, there ya go. Your Debbie-Downer for the day. Sorry. But I really did need to write this out, and I believe that is was probably at the heart of my non-writing-ness these past days. But it’s done now, right? Right. And we can move on to better, sexier stuff.
But in another post, not just now. This one has kind of worn me out.
The late, great, Cooper. Rest in Peace, boy.