With the passing of Mister Moose, our beloved black lab stray, in March of this year, we experienced a phenomenon unknown for almost 30 years.
A house without at least one dog.
And while I am willing to accept the grief and sadness which accompanies the loss of anything with a heartbeat, the significant other takes more time to heal. With each passing day that no longer included multiple walks, shedding, and the needs of a four-legged family member, I grew more depressed. Had just started the Spring Semester for grad school (Transferring credits to CUNY from Florida). Was in the midst of a marketing push for both Draculand and TIME Blinked. A necessary tooth implant had only completed about half of what seemed a hundred office visits to the periodontist.
None of that mattered.
Washed Moose's food and water dishes, and put the dog beds away. Drove to the Sarasota Humane Society and donated food, treats, blankets, and some toys. And obsessed over how to sneak another wayward dog (Moose was one of them) into the house. I'd gotten Henry past the border guards in 2007; Moose in 2015; and the wayward Astro in 2020. Sadly, Astro could not stay with us, much as we loved him. Gave him up in 2021.
And then there was only Mister Moose, who lived another two years. Believe he was about 12 when he died. We were never sure of his age when niece Colleen found him on the streets of Atlanta.
Then. Nothing but silence.
Started hearing things.
The breathing of a sleeping dog. Nails on the tiled floor. Snuffling.
Hallucinations borne of three decades of life with one (or two) of God's most special creature, the canine.
Today, the significant other left for Florida. The mission?
To, ahem, retrieve Ziva, our new eight-week-old blond bundle of trouble.
All seems right with the world again.