Life once stressed me out. I was anxious to do my best, work too much, over exercise, and lose sleep over silly things. Yet something magical happened when I became sick. As my energy depleted, I lost the capacity for stress. Somehow my body knew to conserve its energy for what truly mattered. Things that used to drive me bonkers suddenly rolled off my back. I had no choice but to prioritize. I couldn't do it all. At the end of each day, I did all that I could and that was, for once, enough.
Two years ago, I picked out a puppy for my birthday. I knew he was the one from the moment I saw him. He was still and content and quite unlike all the other barking, jumping, rowdy dogs in the shelter. He was silly and sleepy. He got along easily with everyone and everything. He loved his new life as a farm dog and showed his appreciation every single day. I was at my worst when I brought that puppy home. I was incredibly ill and required lots of rest every day. Thankfully, Harvey could sleep for days. He slept so much there were times when I wondered if Harvey too had Lyme Disease.
An incredibly sad turn of events happened last week that ripped my therapy dog away from me.
I heard a gun shot and ran to find my Harvey lying in the grass peaceful and still. There was no reason for anyone to take his life. He wasn't anywhere he wasn't supposed to be and he wasn't doing anything wrong. I will never comprehend this senseless act. I will never understand it.
All of a sudden, I have the energy to feel again, and I am angry, broken, confused, and sad. I have the energy to stay up all night, drown my sorrows in whiskey, and feel so much more than I have in years. It hurts my heart and boggles my mind.
Harvey spent over two years nursing me back to health, and thanks to him, I am almost there.
My body is mending and feeling whole again, but I don't know how to heal my heart without Harvey. I am doing my best to keep moving and working the emotions out of my body through daily walks and many tears. When I am still, this loss covers me like a weighted blanket that I can't get out from. I can’t imagine making peace with such a cruel act that resulted in an unnecessary loss.
I have spent the majority of the past two years snuggling that dog. He took his role seriously. He comforted me on the couch, in bed, and in my reclining chair every day. He gave me a gigantic sense of confidence during an incredibly hard time. He was stable and silly and sweet and he loved me unconditionally when I was most frustrated with myself. He there on every bad day and every adventure, every nap and every potato we dug. We were incredibly bonded, in such a short time. Harvey was the funniest and most affectionate dog I have ever known and I can’t thank him enough for choosing me as his human.