Missing George

I had to put my beloved George to sleep last week.

Yesterday I found myself missing him so much, and for the first time since he’s been gone, I wanted another dog.

I realized that for my whole adult life, I have never had to be completely alone, even though I often felt alone.

George had always been there, a sweet little presence who snorted, puttered, and needed out.

Andrew described him last night as “a ball of love.”

When I told him I wanted to look for a new dog, he was so supportive. This is impressive and, frankly, a little surprising.

Andrew doesn’t like animals. He told me so before we got married. When he first met George, he tolerated him because George was part of the deal if he wanted to be with me. But we both assumed George, who had pretty much always had health problems from puppyhood on, would be our only dog.

Then Andrew met my sister’s border collie, who is the second-best dog in the world. She also won his heart. And Andrew began to talk about getting another dog if George ever died.

He has been so sweet to me, making  sure I’m okay, holding me when I cry, telling me it’s good to cry, appropriate to miss our dog.

He looked at possibilities from a shelter online last night.

But he also feels it might be too soon. We can’t replace George, he said.

At the same time, he understands my need to have something living around the house.

It feels empty here without him. And I spend my days here now and will for I don’t know how long.

This housewifeliness is new for me, and I find it lonelier than I would have imagined.

Andrew is right, of course. George will never be replaced, and my heart will always be a little broken when I think of him.

I don’t know if it’s time to welcome a new dog into our lives or not. But given our track record at agreeing on anything from art to dishes to furniture, it will take a while before we find the right dog for us anyway. For now I don’t know why, but it helps to look.

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