The circle of life always continues

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First Posted: 1/12/2015

I knew it in the depths of my cold, black heart that it was past due. It was time to bid our poor dog a final adieu.

He was elderly, like me and, like my reproductive system, barely operational. We humans usually keep our animals alive for us, so when he wasn’t walking or pooping or eating anymore, I made the call. I decided to do the deed solo, because I assumed I could handle it better than anyone else in the family.

Dummy. Have I ever met me?

Epic miscalculation. I can melt into a heaving, sloppy mess over an under-cooked hot dog for God’s sake, let alone death.

As he was taken from me, I predictably wailed. Loudly. So loudly.

And, I don’t cry pretty. I cry ugly. I’m not a petite flower who sniffs a few times and delicately dabs at her mascara-laden eyelashes. No, I blubber with gusto. I heave and hiccup. My eyes become puffy even before I squeeze the first tear out. And when I say puffy – you could float them in a pool and serve beer from them.

The poor veterinarian’s assistant didn’t know what to do with me. I was doubled over, hiccupping and snuffling. I thought she was going to offer me a Milk Bone, but instead, she offered me the bill. I had to pay for killing my dog at the time of service? What the heck? Sigh. Well, just like everything else this season, I uttered those two magical words: charge it. I charged my dog’s assisted suicide. Who am I?

I surprised myself. My adoration for this dog caught me off-guard from the beginning. I don’t consider myself an animal lover by any means, but I suppose when I wasn’t looking, I became attached to the little bugger. After all, I‘m the one who trained him when the only way he would make a deposit in the crap landfill (my yard) was if I crouched next to him and pretended I was going, too. I mean, we bonded over poop, people! You can’t fake that kind of endless love.

My kids were devastated. It wasn’t their first brush with doggy death, but it was painful nonetheless. My friend Denise insists that every child needs to learn about the “Circle of Life” and this was a good place to start. Did she get this from “The Lion King” or is it a real phenomenon? Why not the rectangle of life? Or the parallelogram of life? When I pressed her for details relating to this philosophical conundrum regarding loops and life, she told me it’s fundamental; someone dies, someone’s born. Basic Life 101.

My own little Eclipse of Life dictated replacing what’s been lost…sooner rather than later. Last week, I adopted a Yorkie named Oliver. I realize we think our animals are irreplaceable…but I did replace him. And pretty stinking fast, too. I already love Oliver. See how that happens?

My husband warned me not to do it. Several hundred times. But I couldn’t stand the blanket of sadness suffocating our usually happy home. It took him exactly twelve hours for him to fall in love with Oliver.

I mean, he fell in love with me at first sight and I wasn’t even paper trained.

And, I’m still here!

For now.

Basic Life 101.