I forget how to do this part.
I forget how to move forward without a dog under my feet.
I forget how to plan a day without accounting for letting him in, letting him out, filling his bowl, refilling his water, walking, cuddling, brushing, all the things.
Our beloved Cooper passed away peacefully at home last week, and I forget what life was like without him.
For the past 13 years, Cooper has been by my side, underfoot, or on my lap.
The emptiness feels heavy.
I say this with nothing but love: Cooper was a giant pain in the ass. He was allergic to everything–food and environmental–and if there was a reaction to be had to something, he had it. He was fearful and reactive and required a lot of management. But he was loyal and loving. He took care of his cats and his girls.
His greatest joys in life were dismembering squeaky toys, running miles and miles and miles with John, hiking with the family, and cuddling with me and Ripley.
We loved him thoroughly and deeply for exactly who he was because all those little quirks were just… Cooper.
This is an even sharper, more acute loss for our family, too, because it’s the girls’ first experience with grief. Shepherding them through this loss adds a layer of complexity to an already difficult experience.
But, this is the cost of love. This deep well of sadness is the tradeoff for 13 years of fun, of joy, of love, of friendship. It’s a steep price, but it’s absolutely worth it.
And, still, I’m sad. I really miss my friend.
I’m going to step away for a little while, but I’ll be back. In the meantime, I’m thankful for you and yours. Wishing you a joyful, heartfelt holiday season filled with love. Give your pets a hug for me, and I’ll see you in the New Year.