After losing Zack, evenings have turned into my private hell.
He used to sleep beside me on his own pillow. He also loved to sleep with his head on my right shoulder. Otherwise, he’d sleep on my feet, in between my feet, or on the crook of my arm. Some nights, my arms or feet would go to sleep/numb (“nangangalay”) because of his weight, so I’d tell Zack to please move and he would. Lately, I’ve been thinking that I’d bear the “pangangalay” of my arms and feet just to have him back. But it’s all too late for that.
I read an article two nights ago on pet loss and pet grief that mentioned the term “heart dog” – “the companions we love as much as life itself”. Zack definitely falls into that category.
I grew up in a household with my dad’s German Shepherds, but Zack was the first one I tended to from puppyhood to senior citizenry. I still remember vividly the first time we saw him and his reaction when we finally brought him home. I remember my hesitation and discomfort because I didn’t really know how to deal with him. But when he got sick, I sat outside his crate to make sure he was alright. That’s when he became my baby. The bond was born. When he died, he died while he was looking at me. I’d like to think our bond stayed intact until the end.
Those who say pets are practice babies are so mistaken. With human babies, you tend to them until they reach a level of independence with the expectation that they will outlive you. With fur babies, they depend on you until their old age and most often than not, you will outlive them. You will feel the pain of seeing them die. It’s very heartbreaking.
The house is too quiet. Even if he was a quiet little guy, his absence and the silence is too deafening.
(By the way, I can only speak of my pain, but I’m definitely certain that my husband is suffering as much or even more at our loss. The two of them had a different sort of bond – Zack was his little boy, while Zack was my little baby.)