Every Friday afternoon for the past six weeks now, my heart feels like it’s going to break. It’s as if the little army of men holding up the shield of armor all week have gotten tired and have to take a break. And that’s when the heartache slips through again. Every Friday. I know what is really happening though. It’s the day you slipped so quickly from this realm, and a chasm split across my heart and changed my world forever.

I hope the cyclical Friday sadness stops sometime soon. But then again, I hope it never fucking stops. Because when it does, it’ll mean the memory of you is beginning to fade from my everyday existence. I don’t want that to happen. I already feel so guilty that I couldn’t save you. That I couldn’t heal your broken heart. That I couldn’t slam the brakes on time and prevent your sweet little heart from giving out on you.

I know you weren’t ready yet. I mean, I know you were on some level… at least physically. Your body was tired. You heart was working so hard. I know it’s in your nature to keep going for the pack, no matter how hard it may have been for you sometimes, but what breaks me is that I know you still had so much life in you. So much joy. So much love. And, it isn’t fucking fair. I wish we had more time together. I know 12 years is a long time, but I’m greedy. I wanted more.

I wanted to take you to the park. To the waterfront one last time. Or to the arboretum. We hadn’t been outside our little neighborhood in such a long time. I wanted to take you to at least find some goddamn grass to sniff and rub your little snout through, but downtown Seattle hates foliage and nature.

And baby girl, I wanted you to be around for this next chapter in our lives. I know with your health, it would have been so hard on you and most likely, devastating. Losing you on a cross country trip all the way to Maine would have been, well… fucking heartbreaking. No pun intended.

In an ideal world, I wanted you to be healthy as you have always been. You were our rock. We need you to keep us sane and stable. But more importantly, I wanted you to see more of the world, to smell new smells, to boy-pee on more trees. :) I don’t know how canine minds work and maybe just being with your pack is all you wanted, but I can’t help but think about all the things I think you would have loved on our latest adventure.

I wanted you to sink your little webbed toes into the sand on the coast of Maine, smell the salty air. I wanted to hear you run around the yard of the lakehouse with the Muppet, crunching autumn leaves underfoot. I wanted to watch you lie by the fireplace in the winter, warming your cold toes and your ‘cuter than a button’ pretty nose.

I have so many wants. Wants that will never come to fruition. It was foolish, I know, but I practically imagined another lifetime together. And now? Now, I have to rework the images in my head because we are a little family of three, not four.

*sigh*

It sucks.

Our little family is not the same without you. This new trajectory in life we are about to embark on will not be the same without you.

Punkin’, I hope you know how much your were loved and appreciated. You are still loved and always will be. Thank you for bringing your little family so much joy and peace… and so much love.

I know you are still with us. The hole in my heart that broke open when you died is now being filled in with memories of you… inhaling your scent, stroking the softness of your muzzle from between your eyes down to your nose (so calming for both of us!), the kitty-like wag of your tail when you were content playing with your ball… so many memories of these tiny moments that I know are now more important than if we went to the park one last time or not. That broken part of my heart, being stitched back together with memories of you, will forever be yours.

Thank you for all the memories. Thank you for showing me how to be curious and courageous… to love fearlessly. In life, in photography, and in my writing, you are my inspiration, my muse… you always were. And my dear little catdeerdog, you will live on forever. I promise you that.

I love you, Doodlebug.