An epilogue of sorts

Last Saturday I went on a hike with J and Little Guy.  We drove out to the foothills, to a trailhead we had been to innumerable times; it was, in fact, the place we first went hiking when we moved to Idaho two years ago.  Ziggy was with us too, or at least her ashes were.  They were stored away in a compartment of my backpack in a pretty little wood box that seemed much too small to be holding the remains of a fifty pound dog.

We hiked uphill until we reached Forest Service land.  The place I chose was a small knob with no name.  There were a few trees scattered on the top of the knob and I chose a large ponderosa to bury her near.  Ziggy’s ashes, when I opened the little box, were in a gallon-sized ziplock bag.  They didn’t even fill it up.

I dug a small cat-hole and emptied the bag into it.  Then we hiked back to town.  That was it.

The other night I had a dream about Zig.  Not much of a dream.  In it, I was standing in my house — maybe the living room, maybe Little Guy’s room, I’m not sure which.  Ziggy was there, sitting under a chair (she always liked small spaces) and looking at me.  I of course was really happy to see her, and I crouched down and started talking to her in the way I used to do.  Part of me felt embarrassed because I knew she was dead, and I felt sure anybody else coming into the room would think I was crazy.  Maybe they wouldn’t see her or worse, maybe I would suddenly realize she wasn’t there and I wouldn’t be able to see her anymore.  I kept talking to her anyway.  She was wagging her tail and it was great, but then I realized that I was dreaming and that she wasn’t actually there.

I’m pretty unimaginative in how I see dreams; I see them as a product of whatever my mind happens to be dwelling on in my waking life.  But it was comforting to see Zig again, even in a dream.  And a little confusing, too.

Daily walks were hard when she was gone.  The first couple times I went out were hard.  I used to walk everywhere with my pup, and everywhere reminds me of her.  I would trace familiar routes and feel like the ground was dropping out from beneath me.  Now, a couple weeks later, I’m doing better.  I go on walks, I meet up with people and do things.  More than I used to with a sick dog, in fact.  I get out.  But letting go is a slow process.

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2 Responses to An epilogue of sorts

  1. missrain says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it can be to lose a beloved pet… Because they’re family, too.

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