Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man, without his Vices. This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human ashes, is but a just tribute to the Memory of Boatswain, a Dog. ~George Gordon, Lord Byron, “Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog”
It’s been over two weeks since we put Angel to sleep. I still forget some mornings that she’s not there. Sometimes when I open the door when I come home from work, it just hits me again.
Maybe it’s nuts, but I have not been able to pick up her food and water bowl. Today as I was cleaning the house I threw out her toothbrush. I noticed crumbs had accumulated on the kitchen floor, something that I haven’t seen in years since Angel was a canine vacuum cleaner.
I’ve never asked for the ashes of any of my former pets. I asked for Angel’s. I picked up her ashes at the vet today and intended to bury them in a little place in the front yard where she loved to sit and bark at people or yelp excitedly when I got home.
I didn’t do it. I still just want to hold on to her, though that makes no sense.
A few of you shared that you mourned more for a pet in your life than some humans you know, maybe even relatives. I thought about that. I thought about how dogs are part of every waking moment you are at home, whether you’re walking or feeding or brushing or petting, or they are just under your feet, at your side. Sometimes you don’t think about it. But they are so much more a part of your life than you realize, until they are gone.
Ah, I miss her. The box holding her ashes is heavier than expected…as is my heart, still.