Yesterday I finished reading the Unbearable Lightness of Being by Kundera which spends its final chapters expounding on the noble love that people give their dogs – more noble than love for humans because there is no real power dynamic at play. I read through tears because yesterday I also sent my six year old cocker spaniel to live with a new family. This loss does not bring me lightness. The absence of her dog bed in the living room, or her sad droopy eyes staring up at me hopefully, feels like a gaping wound. There is something missing that has been a fixture of my daily life for the past six years.
Although not nearly animal hoarders, we still have two cats and a dog who will also need new homes. The expense and complications of migrating with four animals is too much, and we know we haven’t been giving the dogs the attention they deserve, especially since the birth of our daughter who is always our priority. I look at her and I know she is what matters most, and she is coping just fine with one less animal in the house.
To me, and I know this is temporary, it just feels like a part of me has been lopped off suddenly. Not quite a limb, but maybe the tip of a toe. It hurts, but I know that extremity is going to make someone else very happy and that she, too, will be frolicking in a new yard and getting the daily walks and pats and hugs she deserves.