No one in your family will ever be as forgiving of your mistakes as your dog.
It was exactly a month ago that we lost our orange beast, Iona. Everyone who has ‘known’ me this past decade and a 1/2, has also known Iona. She was my constant. And she became Jason’s girl. But at 16-years-old, our battle-axe had grown worn, our tornado had slowed, our bright light had gone dull. She put up one hell of a fight, but as her vet said, “She isn’t going to go easy. You are going to have to be the humans in this relationship.”
Let there not be a decision that hard anytime soon.
Many will say, “she was only a dog”, and to that I say…”thankfully.” Iona endured moves, and roadtrips, and wine by the gallons, and parties, and husbands, and divorce, and fights, and loves, and dating, and long nights and early days. A human would have judged me. A human would have sometimes been disappointed. A human would have tried to steer the course. Instead Iona remained unwavering in her loyalty, slept off our hangovers, bit a few interlopers along the way, and helped me choose the love of my life. She herded me through a lot of life lessons.
I lost my grandmother too this month. I loved her immensely and respected her with great force. I miss her, but I also haven’t lived near her for 20 years. It’s tough to explain the difference between a love loss and a love longing.
I long for when our beast was young. I long for her greeting me at the door. I long for her constant presence.
On her last evening Iona drank expensive wine and ate cupcakes for dinner.
Thank you for being, “only a dog.” Thank you.