Today was the hardest day since the day Riley died. No particular reason; just a really, really hard day. I’ve cried so much I look like I was beaten in the face.
If you are not a dog person, you don’t get it. He was my little boy, my constant companion. If you averaged the time I spent with humans and the time I spent with my two dogs, I know for a fact I spent much more time with the dogs. He slept beside me at night, curled up under my left arm. If I rolled over, I felt his little fur weight pressed against my back. In the morning, he followed me to the bathroom, waiting patiently until I finished so he could be let out for his turn. If he got scared, he ran to my arms. He greeted me at the door every single day, joyful and happy that I came home again. If I went out-of-town, he moped and refused to eat until I returned. He loved to play ball, and would let me work on the computer for just so long before he insisted that I take a break and play with him.
Dogs have always had my heart. Riley came into my life when my girls went away to college and I felt so lonely. Hubs works 12 hour shifts so I am home alone a lot, especially in the summer. Not long after that was when J started the first downward slide of bipolar, addictions, and disorders. It was a hard time for hubs and I, and it drove us apart for a while. Mental illness is not understood by the general public, as you all know, so I had no one. Except Riley. He was not a trained therapy dog, but he might as well have been. When I cried, he stayed by me, licking my tears as they streamed down my face. When I calmed down, he would gently bring me his favorite ball and look at me with those huge, understanding eyes. God how I miss those eyes.
Hubs called to check on me today. I can hear in his voice how worried he is about me. He knows my tendency toward depression, and that in recent years it has gotten worse each time. He wants to go get a new puppy tomorrow. My first reaction was NO, but it’s not to replace Riley. That will never happen. But our little girl, Soph, is out of sorts and so lonely now. And if we get a puppy, it needs to be in the summer when I can train it. I’m just not sure I’m ready for that. Hubs is just trying to stop my downward slide, I realize that. It is so sweet. I’m just not sure.