The leash is resting quietly in the basket by the front door, no longer with a purpose.
The place where dog dishes sat is empty, there is no one left to feed.
The dog door is closed.
This morning I scrambled an extra egg and cooked up two additional slices of bacon. I broke the bacon into pieces with my fingers, mixed it up with the egg, and asked Cody and Carter if they would like to help me feed Dexter a very special breakfast. They knew something was up. We don’t usually feed people food to our furry critters but today was different.
After we had eaten, Husband gallantly attempted to explain to the boys that this afternoon, the vet would be coming to our house. He talked to the boys about how Dexter hurts; about how he can no longer walk to the bus stop. He talked about how it hurts him to stand up and how sometimes he can’t even stand at all. He spoke of the love we have for Dexter and how we hate to see him in pain. Husband talked through his tears about the good life Dexter has had with our family and about how we will always love him.
Cody figured it out by the second sentence. He saw the sadness on our faces. His eyes overflowed, his lip quivered and he flung himself into Husband’s arms. Carter understood the words but not the finality of their meaning. He clung to the part about our good friends coming to visit us to take them on a special outing while the vet visited to give Dexter the medicine that would stop his pain – to make Dexter not be with us anymore.
They wrapped their little arms around Dexter’s furry neck. They gave him kisses and cried into his fur. Cody told Dexter that he would miss him. Carter said goodbye.
There was sobbing and there was such sadness around our breakfast table this morning.
This afternoon in our living room we lost a member of our family.
Now there are two dog collars on our bookshelf, the jingle of their tags has been silenced.
It is strange to be living in a house, a house that has always had a dog in it, without a dog.