It’s been about two months since DarlaDog passed.
I still swear I can hear her collar jingling in the other room.
I still catch my breath when I see a few scraps from dinner and have to remind myself, that no, I will not be giving those to my beloved pup.
It’s like I’ve lost my best friend.
You are shaking your head with understanding.
You, who have suffered your own loss.
Maybe your dog, your dad, your marriage, your job, your child.
Invariably, even the best adjusted can kinda lose it when we lose love.
We do weird stuff — the stuff neighbors, friends and family gossip about.
I’m doing what I can to fill up the hole in my dog-loving heart.
I stop people walking their dog for a pet and a kiss (from the dog, not the human).
That part I do have right.
But I’m still working on the part where I linger a little too long, past when normal strangers would be expected to move on.
I have this move down where I twist my head as I walk away so the stranger can’t see me wipe away the tear that invariably insists at the faintest whiff of dog.
I bookmark shelter websites and scan them each night growing crushes on dogs like a love-sick teen gazing at her David Cassidy poster.
“Go get another dog!” You say.
Many have said.
But even with my aching heart, it still seems too soon.
Some jump from relationship to relationship.
My heart moves slowly.
I didn’t date for four years before meeting my husband.
You get the idea.
What’s left to do?
Husband tries to entertain me with names of imaginary pets we don’t have room for.
“We will name our llama, “Como se,” he offered.
Ask your friend who speaks Spanish if you don’t get the joke.
Mainly, I sit in it.
To miss someone you love is part of it, I think.
To be a little crazy.
To feel the feel.
Maybe you’re in your own crazy land of loss right now, as well.
If so, know that I’m sitting on the park bench right next to you.
So, don’t be surprised if I stop you on the street while walking your dog, and stay just a little too long, scratching behind your pup’s right ear, just like Darla use to like, taking a minute to drink in a gaze from those chocolate brown eyes.
The part where you tell me you have nowhere else you need to be, well that would be the kindest thing you could do for this one crazy lady.