This Is How I Still Feel Sometimes

My Dog Died a Week Ago & I’m Doing Fine

by Robert Pregulman – Seattle DogSpot – and as published in the November/December 2014 edition of Pet Connection Magazine North Edition

Before reading, you might want to have a box of Kleenex handy.

We had to put our 13-year-old Chocolate Labrador Retriever down last week, because he couldn’t overcome his third bout with pneumonia.

While Dylan’s death devastated me, it happened just over a week ago and I’m doing really well. The only time I break down is when I see something that reminds me of him, and that only happens when:

* I see his picture.
* I read a condolence card or email.
* I drive past Dog’s Day Out where he went for daycare.
* I drive past the Queen Anne Animal Clinic, his Vet’s practice.
* I drive past Sunset Hill Veterinary & Rehabilitation Center where he walked on an underwater treadmill to build strength in his hind legs.
* I see his leash and harness hanging by the front door.
* I see his blankets in the back of my car.
* I see his dog bed that I just can’t bring myself to donate to the Seattle Animal Shelter yet.
* I take food out of the refrigerator (or do anything in the kitchen really), and he doesn’t magically appear.
* I see his tennis balls in my car.
* I drive past an off-leash dog park.
* I drive past Rogers Park (we took him there when he couldn’t go to off-leash parks anymore).
* I see someone walking a Chocolate Lab. Or any Lab. Or any dog really.
* I go to a pet store.
* I feed only one dog now instead of two.
* I see his favorite people food – butter, cheese, carrots, and bananas.
* I don’t see him greet me when I wake up.
* I don’t see him sleeping in his bed behind me while I work at my desk.
* I don’t spend time petting him before I go to bed.
* I don’t see a blanket on ‘his couch’ anymore.
* I don’t see him sleeping on ‘his couch’ while we watch TV.
* I realize we have more space to stretch out on the couch.
* I see his picture on the label of home-brewed beer made by his former dog sitter.
* I see one of his secret swimming spots on Lake Union.
* I see pictures of Cannon Beach, OR, his favorite vacation spot.
* I see our other dog Miguel looking around the house for him.
* I see my wife cry.

Based on this list, I estimate I only think about him about 18 hours or so a day.

The other 6 hours I’m asleep.

That’s pretty good, right?


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