I'm somewhat beside myself right now because I spent part of last night and part of this afternoon writing what I thought was a great post on Jaina and in the span of a second it somehow got deleted. It was a little lengthy and took some emotion on my part and I just don't have it in me to rewrite the whole thing. So I'll write a shorter version that I hopefully feel just as good about.
Well it's been a few days now and the tears are fewer and farther between. It seems to be the oddest things that will trigger one of us. We slowly moved all the rugs that have always been there only for her, her food and water dish that Tera was always trying to get into are gone, and the spot on the living room rug that she spent so much of her time, is empty.
We packed up her collars and her food dishes to keep and pulled aside her food, treats, and fleece to be donated. I haven't yet tackled her toys, I just can't do it all at once. It actually took me until this afternoon to vacuum the living room rug because there were little tufts of her fur still on it. Even stupid things like cleaning the yard seems difficult because I feel like soon there won't be any traces of her and even seeing that in the yard is a reminder she was here. Since I'm home, it hits me when I come downstairs and she's not there, when I come home and she's not there, and when we go to bed and she's not next to me. Our house just feels empty. For Tom it's some of the routine things like not having to be home to let her out or take her out at night before we go to bed. And then there are moments when we both just become overwhelmed by her absence. While cleaning out the cabinets in our kitchen that had her things in it, we came across some things that just hit us both.
What we've tried to do is spend some time doing is remembering some of the funny, weird things that were Jaina. My dog was nothing if not a creature of habit and that came out in so many ways. She would only walk certain ways in our kitchen to get to her food dish or the back door, she wouldn't go outside in the rain without an umbrella, when she heard the tv go off at night she knew it was time to out and when we said it was bedtime she went upstairs and laid down. She loved stuffed animals and would always attack the face first, pull out all the stuffing, and then search for the squeaker. When she had the squeaker out, she would just carry around the "shell" for weeks.
She has always been Tom's dog and I always told him her whole world would rise and set on him. A few years ago Tom had to go to Indiana for three weeks for work, but he came home on the weekends. On those Fridays when he came home after being gone all week, I had to wait until Jaina got all her excitement out before I could even get near him. But when I was sick, and definitely when I was pregnant, she was always by my side. Also, when Tom would tickle me, she would put her head on my lap and very gently growl at him.
When Tera was born Tom brought home one of her receiving blankets from the hospital to get her used to Tera's scent. One of the nights that we were home before Tera was released, I woke up in the morning to find Jaina sleeping with the blanket. When we did finally bring her home, she sniffed her briefly and the bond was complete. When people would come and visit and hold Tera, Jaina never left their side and when we would take her somewhere and come home, Jaina would just look at us as if to make sure we had brought her back with us.
I always wondered how I would feel when this time came about another dog. We have decided that we can't have another dog for a while mostly because we just don't have the time to devote to one with all that encompasses Tera. When my mom had to decide to put down our family dog a few years back, it made it a little easier to deal with because I came home to Jaina. I cried on her and snuggled with her and she was there with me. I had always thought I would want to have another dog already when this time came and there have been some times in the past few years when we've come close. I also wondered if I would want another dog right away; some people want another one right away and some can't handle replacing something so special to them. Since I knew we weren't getting a new dog no matter what, I suppose it made the idea easier to dismiss. But I now also realize I don't think I could have even it would work. Jaina was so special and unique and I feel like I would just get frustrated at not being able to find another dog that was the same as she was and I also realized that I didn't want to.
I know that it will just take time and that there's nothing that makes it any easier. The house will feel empty for a while and I'm guessing in a few weeks it will feel a little less so. In the meantime I'll just continue to miss my sweet girl.