Saying Goodbye to a Beloved Friend

Sweet Angel Soxx RIP October 4, 2015 

I can write this blog post now.  It's been almost a month since my darling boy, Soxx the Wonderdog, left us.  I cried again last night.  I'll cry again tonight.  I'll keep crying until I don't cry whenever his face comes across my mind.  I don't know when that will be.

Soxx was my dog for 15 glorious years.  We went everywhere together.  He was my muse at the studio and my companion on car trips. He was the star of many, many Facebook posts and had a band of followers.

He started slowing down about a year ago.  He'd had a bout of cancer about three years ago and went through chemo and radiation.  It was horrible but he seemed to come through it relatively well.  But in the past six months he had been losing traction in his back legs.  We started him on water therapy and that seemed to help a little.

A pretty serious family medical situation intervened and we had to stop water therapy. 
Circa 2009 being silly.

Through all of this I continued teaching and had to be gone from home for ten days.

The night I came home, Soxx did not get up to greet me. My heart sank.  We valiantly hoisted him up to go outside.  He promptly fell onto the ground.  I called my son who has been a vet tech for 15 years.  He told me what I knew was true. It was time.  Soxx had just waited for me to get home so he could say goodbye.

I made the hardest phone call I've ever made.

Soxx the Wonderdog
2013 Finished Chemo!
Surrounded by love, at home with his favorite toys, Soxx left us two days later.

I now know that it is possible to live with a broken heart.

Soxx taught me something very important.  He taught me the meaning of living in the present.  Dogs don't know time like we do.  Every time I went out the door without him, he looked at me with an expression of bewilderment.  When would I be home? What if I never came home? He always looked a little worried when I left the house. I made sure to pat his head and tell him what time I'd be home.  "Well, okay," he'd say. "But just this once."  At least that's what I heard in my head.

And when I came home? Oh my gosh.  He kissed me, he wagged his stubby tail, he circled me and sniffed me and pawed at my purse.  "Where ya been? Who'd ya see? Tell me all about it. You are the center of my world, Mom, and I've been waiting all day just to see your face." He would follow me from room to room while I unloaded the groceries, changed clothes, made dinner.

Have you ever received that kind of unwavering attention at the end of a long day? It's like manna from heaven.  It heals the soul.  

So I would tell him about my day. How much I missed him now that he couldn't climb the stairs to the studio anymore.  How hard it was to be in the studio all day without his friendly, fuzzy face next to me. 

I started going to the studio less often.  Yes, the work suffered but who cares? I wanted to be with my pal, my buddy, my best friend.

He never expected anything from me.  He was well fed and loved dearly but every time I fed him he looked overjoyed, as if it was completely unexpected.  Wow! That's for me? He was delighted every time. He never pushed his food away and acted uninterested.  It was the same thing day in and day out, but he was excited about it nonetheless.

I wish more people were like dogs.

Can't you imagine it? If every time you saw someone, stranger or friend, you ran up to them and greeted them with a big hug and kiss? Okay, okay, we can skip the sniffing the butt part - but seriously, what if we all just greeted each other like we were dogs?  Excited, friendly, interested? I know there are some mean dogs out there, and they don't greet nicely, but I don't think that's the dogs' fault.  Don't get me started on that.

At any rate, I'm going to try to be more dog-like from now on. I may not run up to strangers and hug and kiss them, but I am definitely going to try to be more present in the here and now. 

Soxx the Wonderdog
Soxx the Wonderdog Christmas 2014
And more focused on the people I'm with, right here, right now.  Not texting, not surfing the Internet, not pretending to listen just so I can talk next.  I'm working on being laser beam focused. "What did you do today? Who did you see? What's on your mind?" 

I'm going to try to live in "dog time." 

And for a little while longer,  I'm going to cry.
Tesia Blackburn5 Comments