Mourning while they’re very much alive.

With every birthday we have, and I’ve had 37 of them with number 38 lurking less than 2 months away, we are given the gift of being more conscious of mortality.  Happy birthday, can’t wait until I’m 50 .  Funny statistic: The highest rate of suicides in the U.S.?  Teenagers right?  It’s white men between the ages of 40-50.  Lowest rate?  Black men.  Why?  Men my soon to be age that are white, so fucking self-absorbed. Men my age that are black, they have bigger things to worry about.  I digress.

I say all of this  because I’m becoming more and more aware of the fine amount of time that we have with each other, but more importantly, with our pets.

Opie is a 14-year-old, black and tan dachshund.  He is without question, my best friend in life.  And he is shaking, he is losing sight, motor skills, his hearing, and I know I don’t have much more time with him.  Side note: As I write this, I need a goddamn maxi pad to cover my keyboard.  If you understand that, you will smile, if you don’t, just stop reading.

Close your eyes. Think about some loved one you’ve lost.  It could be a grandparent, parent, sibling, friend, etc.  You think back and you smile, start to eventually get sad, but you almost compartmentalize the emotions you have while you reminisce.   Sadness may not be prevalent in that days series of emotions.   Now think of a pet you will never see again…Happens quick doesn’t it? So what causes it?  Because it is the only form of unconditional love we receive.  They are just so happy to see you!  ALWAYS! And you are so happy to see them!  Some of the time.

This leads me to the point of this:  Are we morbid if we think of not having them while we do?  I don’t think so.  If you are conscious that you have limited time with someone, and they (pets) are someone, then you appreciate them more in the now.  You become consumed by them.

Yesterday, Opie and I would pretend to go downstairs so the other two: Jack (Golden Retriever) and Dixon (Mixed Primarily Beagle), would race downstairs. Once they were out of sight, simultaneously he would turn to me as I was squatting down.  This turned into a full sit on the carpet so we could just be together.  Like we both know.  Eventually, the other two came up the stairs,  and I would have to stand up after about 20 seconds of that.  Anyone that has ever sat on the floor while a golden retriever was present will totally understand why.  But that minute we had, each time we did that…3 by my count. That minute we had, it was…ours.

As I left last night to go back to NY. The other two were sitting right in front of me as he sat by himself.  He was looking away as if he had no idea I was there.  Just so you know, where I went, he went that entire day.  Inside, outside, it didn’t matter.  But as I say goodbye, no.  There were no goodbyes.

If yesterday was the last time I see him, I will most undoubtedly be a trainwreck for what may seem like an eternity squared.   But I at least didn’t assume that I would just see him again.

But I at least didn’t assume that I would just see him again.



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