Friday, January 30, 2009

Alone time

So we're slowly moving forward in the grieving process. The pain is not 24/7 anymore, like it was. Now it just comes in waves, and usually when you least expect it.

Like yesterday at the bank. I wasn't ready for that.

In general I find it's easier talking to people who already know about it. Breaking the news is nearly impossible, and usually ends with me bawling and telling them to go read the website because I simply cannot bear to tell the story any more. I'm still not answering my phone unless it's someone with whom I'm immediately coordinating plans.

But the happy times are peeking through. I can laugh with my friends, have a decent dinner with Aaron, and go on a dog walk successfully. In fact, so long as I'm in the presence of other people I'm pretty much fine. It's when I'm alone that it really hits home.

I realize that I haven't actually been alone for nearly 8 years now. Paco was not just my dog, he was my sidekick. He went everywhere with me, literally. When he was 5 1/2 weeks old and needed to be fed every few hours, I wore him in a papoose behind the counter at the junk store I worked at. When he was 12 weeks old he would come with me to work at the dog day care every day. When he was 4 years old and I quit the daycare to pursue Paco Collars full time, he came along with me. Vacations were planned around his inclusion and my avoidance of public transportation was on his behalf (except the one time I snuck him on BART in his therapy dog vest when my car broke down).

I went out of my way to get him his CGC and Therapy Dog title so that he would be accepted everywhere. In places other dogs were not allowed people made exceptions for Paco.

Just a few days before Christmas this year some friends had a get-together at their house. The hosts were pregnant (well, the wife was) and had invited all of their "baby friends." In fact, it was primarily a "baby party." And, guess what? They went out of their way to invite Paco. They knew Paco was as important to us as any of the children were to their parents, so they asked if Paco could come. Visually he was a little out-of-place, being the only four legged guest, but he was happy to perform tricks for latkes and allowed the children to walk all over his back.

I was away from him for a week two summers ago when I went to New York. Most recently, we were in Mexico for two weeks. That was by far the longest I'd been away from him. Part of me wonders if this recent extended absence prompted his desire to squeeze out the cat door and follow us that night. Or maybe my fears were true and his seemingly increased ravenous demeanor of the late was the presence of a new, budding disease, one that prompted him to check Pirate's feeding spot for leftovers on the other side of the fence.

All I know is that now I feel alone. I can be surrounded by other dogs, and there's still a giant hole. Paco was my other half, and I wonder if another dog can ever fill that hole.

ana poe and paco at pyramid lake

Today we tear down the fence and build a new one. Folks will be coming over to help. In essence, it will be a two day wake for Paco.


Shanda Drawdy said...

It's a very good start but as you already see grief can be stealthy and it likes to linger. Keep busy, keep the lights on, and keep the music playing. I've found it's the only way to keep it at bay. I think my neighbors must believe I'm holding raves over here as the light and sound never cease; I consider myself lucky they've not called the cops.

Hold on. ::big hugs::

Home2k9 said...

I love that your friends invited your "baby" to their party... sounds like you have some good friends!

Paco is still here, every time you share a piece of his story and what he meant to you I feel like I could just reach out and touch him and that's beautiful. The fence coming down is good, then maybe plant a garden? Write a symphony and train for a 10k? That should keep you busy for a bit... XO

Paco said...

Shanda, perhaps we could start throwing "depression raves" at your house. That could be fun.

The old fence is down and today we build the new one. Paco's name is already in the cement. I'm glad we'll be so busy in the upcoming months. I think designing and opening a store should be up there with running a 10k in terms of consuming your energy and time.