What they say is that one loss brings up all losses. Today I woke up overwhelmed by loss, and made the decision to deal with only one—today, at least—which is the loss of my dog, Scout. My feelings about his death, and my massive missing of him, got lost in the onslaught of all the other deaths and losses, but he was so kind to me throughout his life, and I loved him so much, that I need to rest with him, for at least a moment, or a few days, or a few months, or however long it takes until I feel like I’ve honored him and mourned him and really grocked what he did for me, and meant to me.
I started writing all about the minutes before his death, but what I think I’ll stick with is a memory I have of him in the few days before he died. I have to work with this memory because it’s so painful—maybe it will be obvious why. My friend L.B. was over for dinner, and Scout, who she knows well because he and I lived at her house all spring, couldn’t stop circling. He was going faster and faster and he was so obviously uncomfortable, and we were uncomfortable, trying to have dinner and talk with Scout circling in the background. Finally L.B. said to me, “Maybe you could try putting him to bed.” Well, Scout hadn’t slept in my bed for about year, for a variety of reasons I won’t go into, but he’d started, just a few weeks before, because I was scared in my new house, and because he was always my protector, my great dog love. So I said, O.K., and I brought him into my room, and I put him up on my bed (he couldn’t jump anymore), and I lay down next to him, and spooned him. It didn’t take more than thirty seconds for him to fall fast asleep. He stayed asleep for hours after that.
Anyway, most of my memories of Scout these days, have to do being in bed with him. It is his humor I miss most, but also his body next to mine.
Today is Scout day. Toby and I have erected two shrines to him in my house, and I am allowing myself to be sad that I’m making soup with a bone that he would have loved, if he were here. We’re trying to stay away from other sad subjects, and just allow me, really, to miss my boy. I miss my boy more than I can say.