The house is officially empty.
I wrote months ago about the loss of our sweet teddy bear of a Bernese Mountain dog, and now our crazy Australian Shepherd is gone, too. Losing two dogs in less than nine months is not an experience I wish for anyone. While it was hard to lose one, it’s much, much more noticable to have lost both.
I still listen for the jingle of tags everytime I come home.
I still check to see where he’s laying, as I’m carrying baskets full of laundry to and fro.
I still come downstairs in the morning ready to let a dog out.
I still anticipate barking when the doorbell rings.
I still–embarrassingly–have a bowl of dog water sitting in the corner of the kitchen.
I’m trying to focus on the positive…the freedom of not having an animal to board let our family go out of town last weekend, last-minute.
I can sleep in a little on Saturdays, not worrying about the dog needing to go out.
I can vacuum, and the floor won’t be covered in dog fur less than twenty-four hours later.
I can let people in without a “just a minute, I have to put the dog out,” everytime someone comes over (he wasn’t a fan of strangers).
I know he was sick, and I know it was time, but I’ll miss the knowing smiles from the vet’s office every time we’d bring him in: “Oh, yes…we remember Bo.” (Translated: The only dog to bite the vet through a muzzle.) I’ll miss him “herding” the kids to bed every night; he took his job very seriously. I’ll miss him curled up next to me on the sofa, his head in my lap. I’ll miss his “wild man” craziness after his dinner every night. I can’t imagine a more adventurous fourteen years with a dog….I know, without a doubt, we will never find a dog again with that much personality. (Perhaps that’s for the best. That much personality can be exhausting.)
We won’t be a dog-free home for long. I made a comment about maybe waiting untill after the New Year before bringing one home, and my husband made it pretty clear that was not his plan. Until then, I’m home in a very quiet house, without my shadow of a shepherd guiding me through my day.