It's been about 3 months since I had to put my dear old man dog down. The first few weeks were excruciating-I would call his name when I called my other dog in from the backyard. I would look for him in the middle of the night when I got up to go to the bathroom. I ached for him.
I still do ache for him, although, it is like with any loss....it is getting easier. I am getting used to his silence, his absence.
Daisy, on the other hand, is not faring well. Kooter is all she ever knew, and I think she is really aching for her companion. The first couple of weeks, she whined all night long, and stared at the garage door, waiting for him to come back. Then we progressed to her going in the backyard and running from the door to the gate, back and forth, like a maniac. Now, for well over 2 months, we are in what I think is the depression stage. All she does is sleep. And whine. She wakes me up hourly, from about 2-6, whining and pacing on the wood floors. She also follows my girl around EVERYWHERE. I am glad that they are bonded so well; I think it is truly helping Daisy heal.
I take her on walks, I play with her in the backyard, and I spend a good 20 minutes around 2am each morning, lying on the floor with her, rubbing and loving on her. I give her treats (she got leftover prime rib yesterday!), I talk to her, I remind my girl to give her extra kisses when she goes to bed. Yet....she is still a mess.
My Kooter was always such a kind soul with me. Anytime I was upset, he would sit on my feet, press his head on my legs, and stare up at me with his sweet eyes. If I cried, he found a way to lick my chin. When I would yell, he would hide, but would periodically come out of his hiding spot and do a 'drive-by' check on me: he would walk by me, touch his nose to my hand, and look up at me. He was just so.....I don't know. Is it possible to say that an animal had an 'old soul' about him? I truly think that's what it was. It's like he truly loved me, and understood me, and yearned for me.
A few weeks ago, I was not in a good place, emotionally. I was sad, angry, enraged, depressed. I felt lost. Many nights I fell asleep on the couch, leaving my hand to hang over the couch, grazing the floor with my fingers. I really wanted my Kooter when I realized that this was the first emotional time I was without him.
During this time, I began to dream about him. I would dream that he was chasing Daisy around, they were barking and going after a tennis ball. Then I would dream that he was sitting on my feet, staring up at me with those eyes. Then I would dream that he was chasing my girl, barking, panting, and smiling (yes, yes, dogs do smile). Each night, I dreamt of him during the course of my sleep. On more than one occasion, he would nudge me, lean his weight into my legs, and sniff my hand. One time, he sat in my lap and licked my chin. I was crying. I woke up with such a sense of relief and I felt safe. I can't explain it any other way.
It took me until last week to realize that he was coming to my dreams for a reason-I needed him, so he came. And then he walked through one of my dreams the other night.....no nudge, no lick, no contact-just walked right through my dream like "Hey, I'm just coming by to check on you; don't mind meeeeee."
I told my mother about it, because I knew that she wouldn't think I was reading too much into this. (You might think I'm a nutcake, but honestly, I have meaningful dreams. I have had dreams about people's babies, deaths, etc., before they happen. I have had loved ones visit me in my dreams, and tell me things that do end up happening. Think of that what you will. ) And my mother told me: He was coming to check on me, and also to show me that he is okay. Also, it's possible he is coming to get Daisy-he is preparing me.
Now I wonder if Daisy is in pain. Signs that dogs are in pain include: not wanting to do their normally enjoyable activities, sleeping a lot, whining, limping, not eating much, puking....Daisy does all of these things. I was chalking it all up to missing Kooter, but maybe...??
Is my Daisy dying of longing for her companion? Can my love (and my girl's love) be enough for her? I don't know that I can take another dog passing away so soon. These dogs are my family. Losing Kooter was one of the hardest things I've dealt with (and please don't think that by my saying this, I am discounting any of the other losses that have gone on over the past couple of weeks in the blogging community), next to losing my grandmother, and having my mother get sick when I was younger. The peace I felt when realizing that Kooter comes to me in my dreams every night.....I only hope that he visits Daisy in her dreams too, and that when she is barking, running, and yapping in her dreams, she is chasing Kooter around the backyard of her mind.