Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Time and space (for a Greyhound)

It has been two weeks since our Julian died. I still think about him and I think that I always will. He was very photogenic, so we have hundreds of pictures of him, and I hope that in the future I will remember him when he was happy and healthy. Sadly, the strongest, most vivid memories I have of him are of when he was sick. I think of his swollen legs and his lethargy. I think of the way he had no desire to eat but desperately drank as much water as we would let him drink, even though he would throw it up if he truly drank his fill. It broke my heart to restrict his water, even though we did it in his best interests. Thinking about this time saddens me deeply. I don't want to forget it, but I also don't want to focus on it. I don't want his death to define his life.

He will always have a very special place in my heart. He is the first loved one that I have ever lost. The older I get, the more friends and family members (pets are family members, of course) I will lose. I am as ready for that as I can ever be, but Julian will stand out.

And yet I find that life goes on, even for me. I still laugh at jokes, I still watch and enjoy movies and television (Inception was mind-blowing and I can't wait for the next season of Mad Men to begin this Sunday) and enjoy the same things that I used to enjoy. There is a hole in my heart where Julian used to be, and that hole can never be filled. I say all of this because we are planning to get another dog. Another Greyhound, in fact. I want to be clear about our motivations - this has nothing to do with helping us cope with Julian's death. This has nothing to do with grief or mourning. This has everything to do with our love of animals. Throughout our time with Julian and Lux (our Whippet, for those of you who don't know - she's still alive) our driving philosophy has been that we are here for our dogs; they are not here for us. So the decision to get another Greyhound (a retired racer, of course) was not difficult. We have the facilities and the experience to take care of one.

We are not selfless, but we have the facilities, time and resources to easily care for two dogs. We could conceivably take care of more, but we would not be able to give the dogs the attention and love that we would like to give. It is perhaps out of insecurity that I write this. Sometime in the near future - possibly this weekend, possibly next weekend - I will post pictures of our new dog and I don't want to be misunderstood (that is possibly my greatest fear in life). I want to be sure that my readers, friends and family know and understand how much I loved Julian and how much I love all animals, how much I love all of life. I will honor the memory of my dear friend, but I also do not want to deny an animal the warmth and comfort of our home (and couch). 

If you have the time and resources, there is an animal near you who needs your help!

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