a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Dumb Dog and Gone Remington

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Dumb Dog and Gone Remington

Dumb Tika dog. She's definitely doing the same thing she has for every other walkies method--what's the most she can pull without it horribly inconveniencing her. I think yesterday she was pulling just as much as ever, if not more, on the prong collar. Dang dang dang dang.

Missing Remington the last couple of days. Never know why this pops up. I still feel angry as much as anything. The challenge in managing it is that there's nothing and no one to be angry at, except The Fates, The Universe, The Powers That Be, The Gods.

At the time that Remington was ill and I knew that it was fatal, I developed the theory that it was easier for me for him to survive a while because I'd have a chance to develop an internal mental and emotional model of a world without Remington, and to start working through my grief ahead of time. Well, in retrospect, I think that there is no way that I could ever build a complete model of Remington dying early and me accepting it.

That's because the model that I already had--of him growing older, his muzzle getting whiter, possibly arthritis slowing him down--built slowly over 9 years and everything inside my brain and my heart wanted that model to prevail. For years, when he'd stand up after lying for a particularly long time or when especially tired, he'd push himself to a sit and then haul his backside up, almost as if his spine was pulling his legs up rather than the opposite. It was so reminiscent of what Amber looked like, trying to stand up as her arthritis became so horrible, that I already knew what he'd look like as he grew older.

Slamming an active, healthy, happy dog with a cancerous stake to the heart can't ever be reconciled with what, with all my soul, I wanted--even though, at the same time, of course, I DIDN'T want him to grow old. Still, now I think that, with Amber, even though it was excruciating losing her, at the same time I could look at the way she so badly wanted to play ball and couldn't; wanted to stand and greet me and couldn't; started losing control of bodily functions when she'd panic because she occasionally couldn't stand up; and see that her passing was in a way a relief of her inevitable increasing infirmity and pain.

With Remington, it never seemed inevitable. It seemed unjust, foul, undeserved, cursed, horrific, appalling.

The common litany among so many dog people seems to be "He's waiting for you across the rainbow bridge." Sorry. Bullshit.

I miss him so. It's been 4 months. I haven't cried this hard in at least a couple of those months. The other dogs are curled up at my feet, concern curling their bodies, ears, and tails. I wish it was Rem.

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