Today….I am sad. I spent the early part of the day attempting to snap out of it. I put on upbeat music, cleaned, read a magazine, exercised…nothing helped. I am stuck.
A few days ago, I watched one of the constants in my life waver incredibly. My dog, Tyson, who we’ve had for six years, is having serious medical issues. I don’t know what to do. I’ve never been one of those “my dog is my life” people…in fact, he only lives with me about a third of the year, and he is technically my sisters dog. Yet he represents a sense of stability in my life.
To know my dog is to love him. You can’t not. He’s always happy and ready to show love. He’s a bit chubby and uncoordinated. He can’t breathe very well and can walk about five blocks before he sounds like he’s dying. He doesn’t understand that every time I get up, I am not either 1) feeding him or 2) taking him outside. He sits on my head while I am sleeping and somehow manages to scoot me almost all the way off my queen size mattress. He is crazy, in the best sense of the word, and I wouldn’t trade him for anything.
But all those things…that isn’t why he means so much to me…and to my family. Tyson is more than a dog…he is a constant reminder. A reminder of a difficult time in our lives; a small ray of hope that helped force us through it.
Tyson was a gift to our family shortly after my father passed away. I was home from college that summer, and I remember sleeping every night for weeks after July 8th, 2001 in my mom’s bed. Every morning, we woke up overcome with a sense of dread. A sense of wondering how we were going to make it through the next fourteen hours before we could close our eyes and give up again.
Tyson didn’t fix the pain, he didn’t even put a band-aid over it. But he served his purpose well…to make us all smile again. To remind us that life goes on.
My dog always has a way of knowing when I am down. He respects it. He doesn’t beg me to play with him or to nurture him. Instead, he sits with me and, in his own way, let’s me know its going to be okay.
I’m not sure yet if he will be okay. Or what I will do if he isn’t. Or why this is happening. Maybe it was time for me to revisit the past. To contemplate what has changed in the last six years. To think about why he was brought to us in the first place. To say hello to my father. To feel him so much today that it hurts.
Or maybe this is supposed to help me realize that it’s okay to sometimes just sit in the sadness. To wish you could go back in time. To realize you can’t. To remember the past. To accept the present. To hope for the future.
If you have a free second today, whether you are a dog-lover or not, please say a quick prayer for my puppy.