The Love of My Life
by Robin Ketchen
Words cannot express the loss and grief that I am experiencing. The love of my life, my child, my beloved Shadow, passed away on Christmas 2012. He had a stroke on Dec 23, and all of the vetrinarian clinics were closed for the holiday. He passed away at home at the age of 17.5 years.
There is a constant ache in my heart from his loss. He came into my life when I was 12, and left when I was 28 (he was a rescue). He was with me for more than half of my life, and I don't know how to adjust to being without him. I come home from work and see an empty floor (instead of a sleeping bundle of fur). I watch football and celebrate alone (instead of receiving hi five/paw for every touchdown). The hardest part is sleeping. I can't sleep. The walls are so quiet. There is no sound, at all. No gentle breathing. No squeaks (from a nightmare, I presume). There is nothing.
He wasn't a dog. He was my baby. Everyone called him 'baby'. When he wanted something, he would cry. It sounded exactly like a baby. He would tell you when he was hungry, or when he wanted to go outside. One time at my aunt's house, I was making a cup of coffee. He thought the spoon was for wet kibble, so he started screaming. He wouldn't stop. My cousin ran downstairs in his underwear yelling about the 'baby'. That's how Shadow got that nickname.
The humans in my life... they just don't compare. Compared to Shadow, they seem indifferent. I could scoop Shadow up, kiss the side of his face, set him down and walk away. He didn't care. As long as I had a spare piece of steamed broccoli for him or an empty lap. Whether I had a bad day, a good day, a fat day, a thin day, etc it didn't matter. Shadow's tail would wag furiously whenever I entered the room.
I know it's been 5.5 months, but time hasn't made his passing any easier. It's beyond hard... I'd give anything to have one more day with him. My heart, my soul, the rest of my days... Name your price. I just want my baby back....