I can look at cat videos, cats at play. I can greet cats and dogs without ache these days.
Eyes smart at any image of the Valderbar tho. Stomach still drops.
The times of giving IV, the 3 visits to vet and being told to reconcile with death and her rallying takes a toll of months. The sense of helplessness, frustration and anger at the helplessness at trying to induce her to eat, all manners of coaxing and cajoling with all kinds of food wore me down until my own health suffered too. Mental and physical.
Every few weeks I still have a nightmare on the variation of finding her, under rubble, crawling in, still alive, desperately thin and hungry and I go hunting for something she’ll eat and bring her back from death. I don’t know how to bring closure.
When our dog died in ’91, it took a couple years before I could look at any dog or hear the word dog. Even now, a black and white dog of the same size gets me. I don’t know why grief is so much easier to access than pleasant memories of joy. There must be something in how I’ve conditioned myself. How I’m predisposed?
It’s been six months since dad died and hearing the word “dad” still pangs, tailspins me.
But so far as Valerie, there’s the start of healing finally, isn’t there.
I can see pictures sometimes and remember some good of her company, remember her pleasure at rushing up to us, as if she were a dog, greeting us, curling on us, wanting to sleep in the crook of my arm or legs. Waking up with her as close as possible to me.
I have even begun to tell stories of her personality and her trouncing of her colleague in crime. How they divided the house. How Valderbar divided the house with most of it hers alone.
I sometimes share with hesitation, usually bite my tongue, since some people are so hostile. It blindsides me. I never know who will turn in rant against pets in principle and/or say sadistic things, irrespective of my feelings or what is compassionate to say of any creature under any circumstance. When a friend’s dog was hit by a car, a passerby kept repeating. It’s just an animal. A couple people eventually told her to shut up but she didn’t. She was looping what she imagined, trying to shake it.
Verbal speech is an evolutionary loss of intelligence.
Maybe because human lives are longer, give more years to enjoy against the tradeoff of loss. I don’t see myself committing to another animal foreseeably.
Yet life seems long with no kids, no fur kids. Friends are lovely but when problems come, and ranks close…I’m a dependent of no one and no one depends on me in that primary way. There’s a gap. Most days I can’t feel it.