Harden my heart

No one knows how long it takes to finish grieving the loss of a loved one. Sometimes you never finish.

I’ve often said that Katie was the real love of my life. And when she passed away after 14 years, I said that if it was just she & I in this world, I would have gladly dug a second hole in the ground for me to stay beside her.

A few months after her passing, we got 2 dogs to fill the voids in our kids lives. Pookie & Tira were siblings, the last 2 of a local litter, and rather than taking just one, we got both. Since they were “the boy’s dogs”, they helped fill the voids that were in their hearts, but not for mine.

And even though the dogs stayed with my wife & myself after the boys grew up and moved out, they were never really “my” dogs. To me, they were just replacements; like any other renegade trucker or scab long-shoreman who is brought in when the A Team goes out on strike. And that’s my mistake.

Pookie & Tira lived together for 11 years, then Tira departed when a cancer lump grew to the size of a bowling ball. I had worried about Pookie’s state of mind, loosing her sister; but Mia had joined our home a few year before, so Pookie wasn’t really alone.

Now Pookie has passed and the worry is for Mia. We try not to leave her alone, but there are times when she’s in the back yard by herself and I’ll find her either sitting near the dog houses, staring at the empty one next to hers; or sitting by the gate, looking through the cracks, hoping to spot her lost friend.

Yesterday I poured a small concrete slab next to the back porch, so I can move Mia’s house there. I’m also hoping to give away the oversized dog house that I had made for Pookie & Tira. That will empty out the dog run area that’s in the far corner of our property. It’s still a good advertising point for when we sell, but it’ll remain dormant until that day.

My wife wants to adopt another dog, so Mia isn’t alone. Years ago we had agreed that we didn’t want any more pets, but I do see the advantages of having a second dog, a new friend for Mia.

Because I don’t want Mia’s heart to become hardened, like mine.

About hemibill

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