So many things have happened, lately, centering around the ferrets. Good things, great things, and I'll get up to posting those soon.
But Friday I had to help my little boy, my sweet old man cross the bridge. My pup, Ben.
I shared his life for 12 years. Since he was six weeks old, and my dad found him in a planter on the side of the road, as a tick infested bloated toad-look alike, and took him and his brother home.
He went from a rather ugly pup into a beautiful powerhouse seemingly overnight. I don't have many memories of him as that tiny guy, just the bird's-eye view of seeing him in the bathtub as my sister, Jamie, gave him and his brother their very first bath.
But we battled parvo and girardia, at the same time, and he came out strong and sure, and had quite the few split-nail incidents. He was a pretty big guy in his prime, but he was always a lap dog, and the best, most vivid memories I have with him are cuddling on the couch and hugging him tight, so in love I couldn't even breathe for it.
We had our share of bad times, these past few years especially. After the accident with him and Emma, things were never the same, and it showed. God, did it show.
I regret so many things, and I think it's the worst part of it all. So much regret and guilt. Anger and fear. And when we made the appointment on Thursday, to happen on Friday, all I could think is this is all my fault. I got us here.
And I did. I know my culpability in it all, and it breaks my heart as much as knowing that he's gone, now. That I can never go back and make these two years right.
But Thursday evening and Friday, it was like back in the day. Such good, good days we used to have and we had them again. We cuddled and shared hereness. I hugged him so hard to me and could not breathe for my love for him. We fed him doughnuts and ribeyes and raw hides. I told him what was to happen, I told him he may not fully understand, and that he may be scared, but I would not leave him, and he looked at me with acceptance and awareness.
He knew, he knew, and we went outside and sat down on a hill, him in my lap, and he gazed out over his property, eyes half mast, sun shining and wind blowing and he said goodbye.
I rode in the back of the car with him when it was time, led him into the vet's office, a place he has always hated. I held him so, so close to me when he was on the table and the injection was going in, and I kept thinking, I'm sorry, I love you I love you I love you I will always love you, all the while knowing that those we love the most often get the shortest stick, when we think the words and the feeling are enough, forgetting we need to prove it every single day. He buried his head in my chest for a moment, then he turned and few moments after, he slumped into me and was gone. I sobbed and clutched him to me, knowing it for the last time I'd ever get to.
I had brought a stamp pad, and afterward we were able to get a pawprint. Yesterday, my sister and I went and I got a tattoo from a great, great place. My sister and the artist worked with me to get me what I needed, on the inside of my upper arm. The paw is his, the size and the look of the stamped print, it is his. His mark on me that I feel so very deeply, clear and visible, and held close to me, to my heart, where I used to sling my arm around him and press him close where we were sitting, and where my arm rested across his side when we were sleeping.
I love you, Benny boo, and you were it for me. My very own.
Rest in peace, baby boy. You deserve it.