So, October is my favourite of all the months. It's the best time of year with indisputably the best holiday that isn't even a holiday, Halloween. I wait all year for October because I know, deep my bones, just the fact that it is October will make me feel better. About myself. About life. About the world. But let's just put the brakes on because it's the second today and things are pretty shit. Let me ignore the lower back pain I'm hobbling through and the fact my sweet demon toddler was up until five in the morning absolutely irrationally inconsolable.
A mass shooting in Vegas?
Tom Petty dying?
The shit show that is American politics which has become a norm to the point that people just aren't talking about it.
Seriously. No ... seriously?
We are supposed to be frolicking through leaves and hand-making costumes for parties where we will gorge on candy and watch horror movies.
Instead the horror movie is the world we live. I don't know. Maybe it's because my DivaCup is over-flowering or the fact I haven't had sugar or caffeine for four days, but fuck.
Yeah, I said it. Fuck.
Am I really contemplating sitting October out?
In other news, I am trying to do Inktober, even though I don't know how to draw.
There is this colossal emptiness in my heart and in my home. The shadow that followed me through my day is gone. One minute he was here, and now ... he's not.
I thought I had longer. I thought we had longer. But we didn't. He didn't.
It's clichéd, but he was my best friend. I spent more time with him than most everyone. He loved me with a love that was greater than any I've known. Maybe any that I ever will know. He was loyal and kind and silly and such a dummy. But he was good ... even when he was bad.
All he wanted was love.
I hope he knew how truely cherished he was.
My days were built around him. His walks. His food. His health. His happiness. And his days were built around me. Where I was. When I'd be home. How long I'd be gone for. When I was with him, I was never alone because his eyes watched me. He followed me from room to room. And when I stepped outside he waited for me ... and often not very patiently.
Now there is no one watching me. No one hoping to steal a pat. A kiss. A hug. No one at my feet. No one by my bath. And I'm lonely without my shadow.
Dixon was part of me. A part of my identity. A massive part of my heart. A sizable chunk of my life. And now he's gone. Everything is a miss.
I am trying to think of all the good times. All the funny times. The frustratingly ridiculous times but my mind keeps turning to what's missing. What is no more.
No more puppy dreams. Water slurping. Droplets on the floor. Dew claw scratches. Cold nose kisses. Bath breath panting. Terrible flatulance. Paws dragging on the floor. Whipping tail. Soft ears. Big sighs. Leash pulling. Sporadic barking. Barrel chested hugs. Oversized lap dog. Couch rearranging. Garbage diving. Food stealing. Groaning. Visitor leg humping. Spooning. Banana sharing. Zoomies. Nail biting. Velveteen neck flaps. Wobbly lips. White tipped hairs on his tail. Excessive allergy scratching. Nobel air sniffs. Side-saddle sitting. Coffee table standing. Passenger seat navigation. Playtime dress up.
No more adventures.
He really was the best worst dog. And six years wasn't enough. Not for him. Not for me.
I'm lost and I don't know how to find my way without my trusty companion by my side.
Last night, I took him for his last walk. As we came dowm the train tracks, the sun broke the clouds and a rainbow appeared. Maybe it didn't mean anything but it seemed so fitting.
Goodbye, Dixon. My dummy. My doofus. My gentle nugget of love. My tank. My clumsy oaf. My trouble.
Goodbye, my shadow. Sleep peacefully and take my love wherever you go.
From the moment I saw him. It was love at first sight. I like to think on both our parts.
July 1st, 2012. It was swelteringly hot.
It was the first time the Sidekick and I met. He was driving up to Kelowna to pick up his newly adopted dog and I decided to go along for the ride because ... well, I love a good adventure and apparently had disregarded all those 'stranger danger' lessons I sat through in elementary school.
The road trip was awkward. Uncomfortable. The conversation oddly one-sided. At least on the ride back I had someone to talk to, Dixon. The dog. By the time I was dropped off at my house, I was sure I'd never hear from the Sidekick again, which was really sad, because I loved his dog. I even covertly snapped a blurry picture when our driver stopped for gas.
Now, for anyone who knows me, they might say I love all dogs. This is true. I do. I am a dog lover. But the affection I had for Dixon ran deeper than blanket dog-love. He reminded me of my first pup Patches - his big meaty head and stinky farts - and it was a miserable thought thinking I'd never see him again. Thankfully, that wasn't the case. And, as the story goes, I ended up falling in love with his Dad too. But this isn't about the Sidekick. It's about the big dummy.
So, yesterday was a terrible day. Dixon's diagnosis was confirmed. Cancer. Lymphoma. It's not a curable cancer. He's dying. And that sucks. Big time. Because Dixon is not only a big dummy. He's not just our family dog. He's my best buddy. He's my friend. My shadow. He fills every room he is in. And he isn't just a big presence because he's doofy and clumsy and snores like a fright train coming down the tracks. He's a big presence because he takes up every inch of my heart.
We spend a lot of time together, Dixon and I.
Over the years, we have adventured and explored a vast majority of the island together. If you see me out walking, it's a guarantee it's probably with Dixon in tow. I can't say for certain how many miles we've gone but suffice to say it's far. And the things we've seen and done - you wouldn't even believe it if I told you. He's rolled in rotting fish and deer, he's stood on a dead sea lion, and he's fetched a dildo out of a creek bed. He's been afraid of bridges, benches, and birds. We've found many buried treasures and witnessed breathtaking sunsets. We've climbed mountains, waded through rivers, swam in the ocean, slept on the ground, rolled in the grass, been drenched in the rain, clomped through snow, slipped on ice, and been spooked by random noises in the woods.
As much fun as Dixon has been, he's also been a world of heartache. From allergies to hematomas and everything in between, this guy has had me worrying from the word go. There was the inexplicable head tremors he experienced a couple years ago that had me laying awake at night just holding him tight. And let's not forget the ruptured ligament from six months ago that had him limping for half a year. There was the swollen mouth from a bee sting, a bug bite on his tail that made it swell up like a balloon, the chewing of the paws so the pads came off, and the constant scratching from allergies. Every time I turned around he was wounded somehow. It was almost as if he didn't know how to be healthy. When he was doing good, something inevitably would go wrong. He honestly is like an accident waiting to happen.
Even worse, he's destroyed so much. He literally chewed his way out of his crate! A metal crate! He's chewed Ray Bans, hats, doorknobs, shoes, Tupperware, and anything else he can get his mouth on. He chewed through doors people. Two of them. Right through two doors! Let's also factor in all the things he's eaten, like a tub of margarine, which he promptly puked up ... not in one go, of course, but in seventeen uniquely greasy piles. He's devoured loaves of bread and cookies and a bowl full of chocolate one Christmas. Just tonight he tried to sneak one of the Sidekick's cookies off the coffee table. He is a vacuum. A very sweet and lovely vacuum.
The memories are aplenty. I find myself reminiscing these days and my heart is so very heavy because I just can't even imagine what life will be like without his paws dragging on the floor, without his puppy dreams, without his whining at the door, without his zooming around after a poop, without his cold wet nose, without his tongue lapping up my bath, without his mooching, without his pulling on the leash, without his stepping on my feet, without him laying behind me while I cook, without his cleaning food off the floor, without his nose prints on the glass. Without his everything.
It's hard to focus on now and not dread what's to come. But I am determined and dedicated to making the rest of his life absolutely wonderful. I want him to have fun. Each and every day, I want to do something nice for him.More than anything, I want him to know he's loved. To feel loved.
Today is National Puppy Day. I never knew Dixon as a puppy. Sure, he's my puppers, but I never knew him as a little wee one because he was over a year old when we rescued him. Still, I celebrate him today. I celebrate the life we've lived and the life we are going to continue to lead. Above all, I celebrate the fact that we have time. Time to snuggle and kiss and walk and play. Time for me to bury my face in the meaty folds of his neck and weep. I don't know how much time, but if it's a day, I am thankful. If it's a week, I am grateful. And maybe we will get lucky and it will be months. Or even a year.
So, I have wrote out Dixon's To-Do List and each day we will tackle a couple things he loves to do. If you'd like to follow along and get to know this amazing guy a little better, you can do so on Dixon's Super Awesome Instagram Account. And if you don't have a dog and you are thinking about getting one. Don't. They are just heartbreak covered in fur.
Obviously, you shouldn't listen to me and you should go adopt and rescue a puppers ASAP.