Monday, February 25, 2013
one week later
This is my blog and I cry if i want to. It has been a horrific week of many tears and mood swings after the loss of darling little loaf. It's still ungraspable, new and raw, I keep expecting him to turn up everywhere. Another one of life's situations where I feel I'm living in a parallell universe, life will get back to normal any day now. But of course it will not.
the very last, happy snap of him
Malte, my Malte, is gone forever and all that's left is his bowls, three little sweaters (more for photo ops than "musts"), the collar and leash, some food, a gazillion poo bags and memories, many photos and oh so many memories. We were indeed so blessed that it was this particular wee one with which our paths met in 2003. A difficult and dark time in my life, the then tiny loaf was what got me out of bed, engaging, walking, fresh air. He was one of the main reasons I got through and out on the other side, a new person, a better person.
Since then life has certainly not been all shiny and roses, but in some aspects so much better than they were before 2003. And to have animal companions in your life is truly one of the best things there is, they always make life so so much better, come rain or shine they are always there, trusting and reliable, without any ulterior motives (if you don't count food supplying).
When we left the animal hospital a week ago - around 5.30 am, 3.38 was the time the vet called. Yes, I took a screen dump of one of the worst phone calls I've ever gotten, ah the era of smartphones... - and I was bawling my eyes out i also had this thought swirling in my mind;
His little, big heart had worked so hard all those nine years, helped me through, last year which began with so much promise was a turmoil of health issues, he was there. When I finally began feeling like my old self again, this year, it was time for him and his little, big heart to say goodbye. 'You will be fine now, I've been with you all these years, now you are ready to move on without me.' As sappy as that notion might seem, it is a comfort to think about the unthinkable like that.
I've also thought a lot about dog owning and me not really being a "dog person" as such (even if I loath such epithets, like there is just one way to be a certain animal person), I don't appreciate routines, walks at certain regular hours no matter weather, socializing with other dog owners, some dogs and their owners behaviour I really really do not understand, picking up dog poo is of course a must but I hate it - strangely enough much more than cleaning the cat litter boxes - dogs don't smell nice and clean like cats do, trimming their claws is hell compared to how easy it is with a cat, cat food is a delight compared to dog food. Often I do not get their behaviour, cat behaviour I totally get and relate to. I'm just such a cat person.
But still I love dogs and I had always wanted a dog, who would be called Malte, a small sized, shaggy one. And little loaf was fine with me not being the typical above person. He adapted into our way of life and we had our own routines.
I've had cats for over 30 years, so obviously I've had to say goodbye to quite a few of them over the years, some with extra-special personalities I still miss a lot. I've been heartbroken over them too, but I think the reason for being extra so with little loaf is that he and his ways took up so much space, you have to adjust your life around dog owning in quite another way than with cats.
I think it's amazing that it was Malte, this exact Malte, who found his way into our home and hearts, with so many features I dearly appreciate in animals and humans alike (and the less fun quirks, well we have them all and we really wouldn't be the same person without them, they live side by side with our endearing ones).
Of course I have thought a lot about whether, in due time, there will be another dog in my life. As I'm not a dog person and there will never be another one just like loaf extraordinaire and so forth. And I've come to this conclusion;
2013 will be a year where I, we, remember and mourn the loss of the best little loaf in the whole wide world, who left us far far too soon. I will concentrate on finally getting the business up and running for real, clean and rearrange, paint and redecorate the house where needed - painting and working with the pink office was so much fun - cuddle cats without a little tyke of a dog demanding attention. Basically structurize life again I suppose. Mending the broken heart.
Only then, when I, we, feel it is the right time for another dog we will not get a puppy again - it was what I needed and wanted nine years ago, today i would not want to go through all that work again - and we will get it at a shelter (or if another dog whose path crosses ours is looking for a new home). Because the world is full of beings already existing that need love and a home. The getting-a-new-dog approach than coincide with my values. I don't care if it's a pure bred, it just has to be the right size and personality of a dog. And of course it must love cats. That feature is obviously essential in any future dog companion.
Malte, the one and only loaf dog extraordinaire,
it has been such a privilege to know,
share home and love you.
You were not only shaggy adorability
with a liquorice nose incarnated,
you were a great, lovable personality
in a small sized loaf body.
Forever loved and oh so deeply missed.