“So how long is it appropriate to wait before I start posting satire?”, I asked my friend, Gord, over breakfast this morning.
Its been a good day. A sharp pain woke me up. It was one of my cats, Socks, way of letting me know that I was petting her wrong.
I saw that the closet doors were closed, and I remembered. There were no tears, only a moment of ummm…terror maybe. I heard Gus meowing in the kitchen. Socks had my left hand clawed into her and I heard rustling at the foot of the bed. “Did I dream yesterday??”, I wondered. I figure Gus must’ve either been closer to the bedroom than I thought, or had run from the kitchen to the bedroom because he lept up on the bed.
There have been some moments of sadness, brief and fleeting and one flash of overwhelming grief where the only thought was, “I miss my dog!”. But those were very brief.
I wondered if fate played its hand today. Last night when I realized I was hungry I went out in search of something to eat.
What I really wanted was a Cajun Burger from Downie Street Burger, an upscale burger place (if I have to tell you what street its on, you are more blind to the obvious than I am) But, the lovely lady who runs the place, Nancy, and I have traded dog stories, and last time I was in I grabbed two burgers for takeout. One for me, and one for Shelby.
I remembered watching Shel tear enthusiastically into his burger. Of course he lacks the table manners my mother beat into me, so he was finished long before me and sat at my feet (and yes, I gave him bits of mine). He went into the kitchen and got a drink of water then started sniffing frantically around the loveseat. He then dropped to his belly and started scrabbling. Alarmed I leaped from the couch, and as I reached his side he comes up with part of a patty in his mouth. He tore apart part of his burger so enthusiastically that he tossed part of it under the love seat. That is a good memory.
Last night things were raw, and I couldn’t face telling anyone else of Shelby’s passing.
I had actually forgotten about that until this morning. Gord and I were walking into Jessi’s Deli and I saw Nancy sitting at the counter by the door. She waved and asked after Shelby, and, of course my face betrayed what happened. I waved Gord on and sat down next to her to tell her what happened. We spoke for a moment and as always, sharing with someone who understands is always a good thing. She remembered that Shelby had had one of her burgers, and it was then that I remembered the story I just related.
As I was re-reading and pondering, I focused on the bit in Shel’s Eulogy where I said, “I was honoured to be by his side”. Honoured…why did I type that? Why did I leave out the part where I knew the moment he passed when I felt a sudden feeling of peace, and happiness.
There’s always been something special about Shelby. He always seemed a little more in tune with surroundings. I remember watching him chase squirrels in Lake Ontario park in Kingston when to my horror I realized that he was going to catch one. I was about to lunge forward and yell, but he lifted his head, and slowed down and was content to run behind it and bark his fool head off at it when it got up a tree. It was all about the chase.
His was a beautiful soul, and his passing into the next life was a monumental event.
If you’re one of those who feel that perhaps I’m reading too much into this and are sitting there rolling your eyes or thinking derogatory thoughts. Well, f*** you. this is about me, not you.
There is also a part of me that remembers all the black times in my life, when I was mired in depression and I’d feel a paw slapping me on the thigh, or feel Shelby settling his chin on my lap. Or other times when the fact that he was home, depending on me, kept me grounded.
I’m a better man today than I was back then, in a better place, and better able to deal with the crap that life sometimes deals out.
So, maybe Shelby, my faithful, loyal companion saw that I would be okay without him, and that it was okay for him to move on.
I think its time I find myself a girlfriend. I don’t remember how one goes about doing that though.
This will be the last post where I focus on Shelby’s passing and the aftermath. I will mention him from time to time I’m sure though. And like I said, I have one or two draft posts I wrote before his health declined sharply. I will post those eventually.