At the risk of being maudlin, I want to talk about my dog, Rolf, who died this morning.
As an introduction he was a beautiful, loyal, incredibly loving dog. Sounds like something every dog owner would say - but we have (had) 3 dogs and he was far and away the dog most in love with his family. He was almost human is a dog-like way - he preferred human company; he listened and looked like he understood every word we said; his preferred position was between me and my husband; he was clever and protective. Essentially, he was the perfect dog. A bit neurotic, but otherwise perfect.
His death has left us bereft. Worse than I could have imagined. His incredibly strong presence has disappeared. Just gone, like removing a slice of our home. All of the love we had for him is swimming around somewhere with nowhere to go - it was his love, so can't rightfully go to someone else.
I can write this now because I'm in the 'denial' part of grief - i.e. I am denying thinking about him until the tsunami of memory stops me in my tracks. A dog? How can I feel like this about a dog? Because I do. And he would say the same about me.