Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One Year Ago...

Paco died.

It doesn't feel like it's been a year, it feels like it's been 10. So much has happened in that amount of time that it literally feels like a lifetime ago. It's like life was going along with a certain trajectory, and then suddenly went way off course.

By certain measures, I'm in a much better position than I was before. My business was on the brink of failure last year and now we've grown in ways I never imagined. We have a store, a great group of people, international sales, all with no sign of slowing. My dog, relationship, house, and friends are all fantastic, but it still feels strangely empty.

I don't know why I thought I'd be over it by now, but I haven't gone a week this past year without crying and I still can't talk about it with strangers. It doesn't help that my life is constructed around him so completely.

But there has been growth. At least now the positive memories outweigh the sad ones. And now that he's not around to act like an ass and prove me wrong, he's reached a status of near saint-like proportions. I can extol his virtues for hours, tell the story of he chased the car thieves away at 2 am or how he fingered the one hoodlum who later went on to murder a homeless man (it was one of only two people in his life Paco could not settle down around), and now it's impossible for him to ruin the illusion by going into one of his crazy car ride fits (he's scream his fool head off and do handstands the closer we got to home), get amped up and embarrass me during a CGC demo, or be a jerk around another dog... now I understand how legends are made.

People want to know when we'll get another dog. The answer is, "I have no idea." We've done a great deal of dog shopping this year, have traveled long distances to see candidates, fostered one possibility, but nothing feels right. I think everyone has their own rate of recovery and we're just not there yet. I'm sure we'll know it when we see it, but that may only happen once we stop looking.

In the meantime I feel the best thing for me to do its continue building something positive in his memory.

RIP, little guy, I miss you every day.

handsome guy


Anonymous said...

Hi Ana (from Shavon's Mom) I read your post "One Year Ago" it brings hard feelings of my own to the surface. I lost my dog Nov 20, 2009 and it is still so raw. I did foster another dog in late Dec and have now adopted him but somehow there is still this empty place where Buddy used to be. Try as I might I constantly in my mind compare Lloyd to Buddy which is so not fair. Not sure if we ever "get over" the loss of such a love as our dog. I wish the year ahead to be full of good memories of your special Paco, until we see them again things will never feel complete.


judi said...

i know what you mean about the time warp. my boy (who looked much like yours) died on December 3. It feels like it's been a million years since. he too was ingrained in everything in my life, and i feel off balance all the time. from one hurting soul to another, hang in there.

judi said...

one other thing...our vet sent us this book when our boy passed: http://www.lightheartedpress.com/books/dogbook.htm

i bawl every time i read it, but it's also helped me cope a little. it's about "forever dogs."

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about this a lot lately, with the one year of Lemonhead's end on Christmas Eve and the two-month mark of having Tonka taken from me last week.

I came to the conclusion that there needs to be a new word for the anniversary of some awful. These horrible dates that linger in our minds, they should have a new word that acknowledges the pass of time as something during which you endured and changed. These dates should be something separate from the word "Anniversary". I was in a bookstore on the 21st (Tonka's last day) and saw this big, bright "Happy Anniversary!!" card and just thought, "ah no, not really." There needs to be a card for that feeling...if there was I'd send it to you.

::big e-hug instead::

Maggie said...

Hi Ana,

You continue to be an inspiration to me. I'm thrilled to hear your business has prospered and you have love and support in your life.

My feelings and experiences after losing my Maggie through an awful "divorce" nearly mirror yours. The exception, the business I built around my love has faltered without her at my side.

She was my muse, my research partner, test audience and best friend. With a year approaching, I miss her so much it hurts...still.