My Dog Gone
My dog died yesterday. She got hit by a car on a dead-end rural road about a mile from my house.
Earlier in the day I had been thinking about how loyal and energetic she was. How it was great to have such an awesome hiking companion. How she made friends with the whole neighborhood. And how she recently jumped in the maillady’s car and pulled out her wooden club to play keep-away. The maillady loved it.
I got a call around 3pm from a neighbor who had seen her lying in the middle of the road, apparently dead. It was the last thing I wanted to do at that point in my day, go recover a dead dog, but I knew it had to be done. I got in my truck and drove down the road with a shovel and a blanket, hoping that I wouldn’t have to use them.
But I did. Thankfully her body was in tact. She was not mangled. I rolled her 90lbs body onto the blanket, wrapped her up, put her in the truck bed. Drove home. Got the shovel out. Dug the biggest hole I’ve ever dug. In the rain.
Then I carried her body over to the hole and laid her to rest. Thought a few thoughts. Shed a tear. Covered her up with dirt.
Then I went in and told my 5 year old boy. He took it pretty well. I don’t think he understands death very well though. The end. Gone.
But he did agree to come help me finish things up. We dug up some heavy rocks (70-80 lbs) around the property put them on the ATV and carried them back to the hole. Then we placed the large rocks over the hole (which is what we do out in the country when burying an animal to prevent predators from digging up the grave site).
Then I went inside. Drank some whiskey. Went to the most remote of the three bathrooms in the house. Took a long shower.
And then I cried like a little girl. I loved that dog.
You know, I didn’t even think about it but it’s almost like my body knew that it wasn’t appropriate to cry in front of my son. Or my partner.
For them, I needed to be strong. And something inside me knew that.
But I still needed to mourn. To let it register.
My dog is gone. Forever.