Some people have been asking how we are doing. Such a simple question, but it is hard to answer. I guess I’m going okay since I am still functioning. I’ve definitely taken more naps, crying is rather draining.
Yesterday I got back from running a couple errands. I went in the house to let Surf out and she looked all over for Winger, even in the garage. It was absolutely heartbreaking. Sometimes she seems soooo depressed, but I suppose she always was fairly quiet. She won’t get up in the morning unless I coax her up. She’s always liked sleeping in, so maybe it was Winger who made her get up. We were over at Herc’s* last night and she was her old goofy self again, playing with his dog’s toys and begging for treats. Last night she didn’t want to come back inside the house, actually a few times during the day too, but last night I had to go physically pick her up off the ground and get her to come to bed. I hate to leave her tomorrow in her crate all day while I’m at work, but she just loves to eat my house, yes even at 10 years old, that I have to. I wish there was a doggy daycare or something, or better yet, that I could find the time to put enough effort into my independent web projects so I could work just at home.
Last night I had a couple margaritas. I know now why some people dealing with emotional pain become alcoholics. It numbed me enough to be able to think about Winger without crying. It lasted quite awhile too. Since Winger’s been gone, I go through moments where I just absolutely have to get out of the house because there is a reminder of Winger everywhere I look and I just can’t stop crying. Then I’d be out of the house and I’d just HAVE to get back home because I just have to let out the tears. Not hearing him bark when I get out my key has made me cry every time though. He always would wait to see me, then run and grab a stuffed toy to bring to me. Every time. Everytime I came home since April 11th, 1998. Hugging his big stuffed lion is comforting to me for some reason. It needs to be washed though and I haven’t been able to yet. Sometimes I see things and I think that the last person/dog to touch that was Winger. Like the rope toy he played so hard with in the backyard before we took him in. It’s still in the same spot he probably dropped it. He sure went out in style. He wasn’t feeling good all day, bleeding and all, but he was so hyper when Herc came to pick us up. He was jumping on the gate barking at him. His bark was really hoarse though. He played fetch very hard and long, and rolled around on the grass on his back – he even made a grass stain on his forehead. I still keep finding blood drops on the floor, a couple small splatters on the wall from him shaking his head. I’ve cleaned most of them up, I don’t really need to be reminded of that.
I’ve never had someone so integral in my life die before. It’s really hard to wrap my brain around it. This afternoon I opened the cupboard to grab some treats for Zeus, the cat, and I saw the special jerky treats I had bought for Winger, special because they are hard to find and had no grains in them to bother his system. When I saw them I thought “Oh yeah! I forgot about those, I have to give one to Winger when he gets home”. ….. Oops. He’s not coming home.
I found the hair I had snipped from him his last afternoon. I had put it in a ziploc and put it on my desk. I saw it today. I had forgotten all about it. It was like part of him was back in my hands. Oh I miss my boy so much….yes I’m crying…. I can’t believe he’s really gone and isn’t coming back. Herc and his dog have kept us company most of the day, but when they go home, Surf and I are really lonely. It’s just something we’re going to have to work through though. I know things will get better with time and we’ll figure out our new roles and habits.
I have to go back to work tomorrow. I’m dreading it because without hurting people’s feelings here, I don’t work with many people who can really sympathize with what I’m going through. I’m not at all ready to talk about it, especially at work, especially with people who don’t really care. I have no idea how I’m going to get through 8 hours without crying, actually I’m sure I probably won’t.
Having this blog has filled a valuable outlet for me to work out my feelings throughout Winger’s illness. Very therapeutic.
*name has been changed
Mom likes this poem she found on my Canadian Goldens website:
IF IT SHOULD BE
If it should be, that I grow frail and weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then you must do what must be done,
For this, the last battle can’t be won.
You will be sad – I understand,
Don’t let your grief then stay your hand.
For this day, more than all the rest,
Your love and friendship stand the test.
We’ve had so many happy years,
What is to come can hold no fears.
You’d not want to suffer so,
When the time comes, please let me go.
Take me where my needs they’ll tend,
Only please, stay with me until the end.
Hold me very firm and speak to me,
Until my eyes can no longer see.
I know in time you too will see
It is a kindness that you do to me.
Although my tail its last has moved
From pain and suffering I’ve been saved.
Don’t grieve that it should be you
Who has to decide this thing to do.
We’ve been so close – we two these years,
Don’t let your heart hold any tears.
I am so proud of you for coping so well so far Lisa. I have lost a grandbaby in Winger and wish I was there. You deserve such praise for the love you brought into Wingers life and Surfies too.
Sure hope tears are healthy!
You made a very tough decision and a very loving one for Winger and I know you will both be reunited some day, just hope I am there too…what a sight!
always and forever, your friend and mother
Ode to Winger
I first met him at the Toronto airport, Lisa and him flow in from Thunder Bay, he had already made friends with the airport staff and was ready to add me to his list. He was the most friendly non threating dog I have ever met. He didn’t even bark. His most favourite thing to do was play ball with you. He would return the ball, catch the ball and run it back until he got tried and then he would sit and chew on it till he was ready to do some more. He was Lisa’s dog, and he guarded her where ever they went. Not with a bark or growel but with a pant or a smile. Winger was a gentle giant. My many nights sleeping at Lisa’s, if I didn’t close the door he would snuggle up to me in bed. In the morning you could count on a wake-up lick or a wet nose to start you your day. He was always ready to play and always welcomed a good scratch from my hands. I found Winger’s most favorite thing was swimming. You would have to really hold him back or splash he was gone.
You know we all could learn from him. He loved you period. He always was ready to play, he never would hurt anyone. He always had time for you. He was eager to greet you even if you only left an hour ago.I took that picture of Lisa hugging Winger which she has posted. It says it all.
Winger thanks for walking into my life in Toronto with Lisa and enriching it.