I’m still hardly about to talk about it, still leaning on PiC and some close friends very heavily to explain why I’ve been so quiet except for some heartbroken sobs on Twitter, but it feels wrong to continue on not saying anything at all.
I can’t memorialize him yet, I can barely accept that this is true, much less find the words to properly eulogize him that won’t further destroy me in the doing.
When I lost Mom, I almost viciously forced myself to say she was gone. It was both scourge and self flagellation to force myself to say those words I knew to be true and desperately needed not to be; a soul-scouring attempt to face the truth and absolve myself of my failings in taking care of her. It didn’t work but it kept the guilt and the grief somewhat at bay for months.
This is … in some ways, this is almost worse. In the suddenness, in the senselessness, in the overwhelming rawness of prostrating grief, I can’t bring myself to cope as I once did. Because he was our responsibility and I cannot absolve myself of the failure to protect him.
“People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said. “But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
We didn’t tame him, we just gave him a new life with us, somewhat pampered though he hardly seemed to notice, and he was coming into his own in these few short years as my wonderfully loving, opinionated and constant “coworker”, my therapy dog, we called him.
PiC was his favorite person in the entire world, you couldn’t match his dance of joy upon being reunited with his papa even after just a few minutes’ absence, and together we were a family. There wasn’t a person, dog lover or not, who didn’t fall for his charmingly quiet, happy personality; many became convinced they wanted a dog “just like him”, after a single visit.
He was our cat-dog, we joked, he being thoroughly exasperated by the hugs I always wanted to give him, and mostly keeping his distance lest I pet him too much. But he clearly loved us. He had a funny way of insisting on family time, staying by our side no matter how late it was, no matter how annoyed he was that it was another late work night; he kept us both in view at all times as if simply by being in the middle, he ensured we stayed “together”.
He’s licked me on purpose exactly once, as an apology for terribly scraping up my foot; he’s inspected PiC’s awful injuries and given them a healing lick but no more than necessary.
As clumsy as the classic bull in the china shop, and yet the most gentle, non reactive companion to any infant or toddler whether he knew them or not, we always knew he’d make the best big brother.
And now our beloved Doggle is gone. We have no reasons and we have no explanations. The heart of our little family is gone and we don’t know how to bear it.