My house is awfully quiet now. There’s no little nose nudging my leg as I sit on the sofa, wanting to join me. There’s no little creature pacing the kitchen floor when it’s time to eat. I don’t ear the click click click of toenails on the vinyl floor.
This past weekend, I had to put down my dog, Wilson, of thirteen years. He’d been having seizures since November, and he suddenly took a turn for the worse last week. I knew it was time, and I knew he was suffering. But I was still devastated. I cried and bawled until my throat was sore. I’d never had to put down a pet before.
Yes, Wilson was a good dog in some respects, but overall he could be naughty. Before he developed cataracts and went deaf, he liked to steal dirty socks out of the laundry basket. One time, he stole my sister’s underwear while she was visiting and hid them under the spare bed for six months. As a puppy, he ate colored pencils and chewed a hole in the drywall. He liked to chase squirrels and picked fights with pit bulls. (Wilson was a West Highland White Terrier, and around 20 lbs.) He liked to take naps with me, and he enjoyed going for rides in the car and being wrapped up in a hot blanket straight out of the dryer.
Wilson helped me through a lot of tough times. He knew when I was feeling bad and would try to comfort me with snuggles or kisses.
It’s only been a couple of days, but as I write this, I don’t want to go home. I don’t want to go home to an empty house, with no furry little thing to greet me, wagging his tail because he’s happy to see me. I miss his snoring when he was curled up in his kennel. I miss our naps together. I miss when he would raise his front paw for belly rubs. I miss how he instinctively knew when I was on FaceTime and would want attention, right then and there.
If Wilson taught me anything, it was that my heart is capable of infinite love. I loved him more than anything in the world, and he has definitely left an imprint on my heart. I know he’s in puppy heaven, chasing squirrels and picking fights, getting zoomies and running free.
To Wilson: I miss you, and I love you forever.