The last 10 days have been filled with a bunch of firsts. First time's without Bravo. Walking into work not hearing his patter of feet down the hall behind me or seeing him waiting for me to open the door for him to go behind counter. Not hearing him stir when a client comes in that he is concerned about. Not seeing him get excited when his favorite customers and clients come in. Seeing their face when I reply to their question about "where is Bravo".
Going to the endo for the first time ever WITHOUT Bravo.....seeing her face after she ask "where is Bravo". Hearing a A1C of 8.2...the highest I have ever been since diagnosis...but also let me know how bad he was feeling the last 3 months.
Going his favorite "french fry" places. Coming out of the shower and him not laying at door waiting. Heading to bed and not seeing him stretch as his comes off the couch and tip toe to his bed in my room.
Driving down the road and not feeling his head resting on mine. Hollering Bravo and him not responding when one of the other dogs o something that reminds me of him. Looking over at the dog's swimming pool and not seeing him laying in the middle of it..claiming the water as if a throne. His big old chessie smile governing the land!
My heart has ached beyond words, beyond tears. I grit my teeth and put one foot in front of the other...weary to the bone. Can't sleep because I don't feel him next to me or hear his snoring. One foot in front of the other.
I try to talk and there is a big old knot in my throat...so I say nothing. All around me life goes on. Time didn't stop for anyone else...people want their needs filled NOW. Dogs want their food NOW. Dogs want my attention NOW. New puppies that have needs to be met and training to be done. Momma dog that needs care and attention. New hope for families on this path. Stories to hear of what the Tattle families are doing with their dogs....how they saved the day.....or need help fixing some problem. Life goes on....and on.
The hardest first..was driving home with that box filled with his ashes and his collar laying on top. This song came on the radio and I had to pull over because I couldn't drive through the tears.
The 2nd hardest first was introducing the box of ashes to my other 2 dogs...Never and Totem. I didn't take them with me the day Bravo left. Never has been the neediest/sadiest thing. Following me everywhere, sad sacking, at times barking in my face as if to say "MOM MOM MOM I am here. LOOK AT ME! I am here!" Sadly I go through the motions of acknowledgment but he knows I am not yet present with him in the moment. So he lays beside me, ready and waiting for the exact moment I am! Totem on the other hand is a whole other ball of wax. Totem was PICKED for me by Bravo. She was the only pup in the litter that he tried to engage. Totem bless her heart has never had a bad day in her life. You can't insult her, you can't steal her joy and she can be TROUBLE in every mischievous way you can think of and she might even teach you some new tricks. I love both of them but the are polar opposite from each other and together BLESS THEIR HEARTS they still don't match Bravo. I am alternating them as I enter a new stage in life. Both have strengths and weaknesses that make me choose which one would do better in the particular situation I am dealing with. Both are down right PUSHY, IN YOUR FACE, NO MANNERS when it comes to my blood glucose being off. Totem has been flighty, spastic, unsettled, and anxious. Wanting to work but then not engaging. Distracted to a fault. I sat the box of ashes on the table and brought Never out. Never sniffed and then came over and laid down next to me with his head on my thigh. We sat there for quite awhile. Him being RIGHT WITH ME...attached at the hip. I then sent him outside and went and got Totem out of her kennel. Releasing Totem out of her kennel is kinda like shaking a giggle ball. She does EVERYTHING with passion, flare, and gusto. All of the sudden she HIT THE BRAKES and dropped her nose to the box containing his ashes. She sniffed and sniffed and sniffed and glanced at me quizzically. She went back to sniffing, she then proceeded to lick the box. Licking the box like she licked his face EVERY DAY she has been in my home! She then pawed at it and licked it some more. The she did something that brought a new rash of tears. She laid down and wrapped her body around that box and looked at me and then MOANED loudly. That got tears and I sat down as my knees were wobbly. As I sat down she leapt from the table to my lap and began licking my tears. I hugged her and then sent her outside to play with Never.
LESSONS FROM BRAVO: FIRST TIMES DON'T JUST HAPPEN WHEN ALIVE AND PRESENT.......FIRST TIMES ALSO HAPPEN AFTER YOU ARE GONE.