Posted on Feb 5, 2013 in Blog |

I took Reagan, our remaining Cavalier, to the office today – six walks in 4 hours . . . he likes to walk when he is there. I figured it was good for me to be up and moving. Most of the walks were our usual routine, once around the buildings, along the tree line, up and down the three parking islands.

At one point, Reagan found Riley’s poop and just went berserk, barking and running and sniffing and looking and going in circles and this way and that and going back to the poop. . . every step, every bark, every strained look in each direction broke my heart . . .

I miss Riley most in bed. He was my companion, especially when the ”lyme” fatigue hit. He would spend hours in bed with me. He liked to rest his head on my shoulder, the rest of him on the pillow beside me. His soft breath on my collarbone. He knew I didn’t have the energy to throw all the time, so we played a lot of tug of war on the bed . . .i wake up now and the pillow is empty and there is no breath on my shoulder.

Reagan lies on the floor at the end of our bed, his head facing the hallway. He waits for Riley to come bounding down the hall, whether to catch a flying tennis ball, or to come wrap himself in my arms. But Riley isn’t coming. So Reagan just keeps waiting.

He still waits at the end of the driveway when he goes out to pee. Waiting for Riley to meet up.

When I spent time with our niece Brittany a week ago, we talked about heaven. Preston comes to her in her dreams. They don’t talk about his suicide. They just go do things together and they laugh a lot. She doesn’t seem him as he last was. She sees him as she wants to and it’s not necessarily in a physical sense. It’s an emotional connection. We decided that Heaven is hearts connecting; a connection that never stops.

For those of us with chronic illness and fatigue and/or pain as constants, our pets can become tremendous triggers for healing. Riley lay with me for hours, his warm body heating my neuropathied feet. As he got stronger, his tug of war pulls would ease up on me if I couldn’t hold the toy tightly enough. It didn’t matter who won; he just liked playing.

If he had to run, he would run around the house, gathering up his toys one by one and bring them up on the bed, nestled on his pillow, somehow thinking they were safe from Reagan’s growling threats. They took turns stealing and hoarding each other’s toys.

Literally, as I wrote the last sentence, Reagan brought four toys onto the bed and placed them carefully in front of Riley’s pillow. Then he sat and looked at me, silent. (keep breathing, Sharon, keep breathing). The tears fall freely again as our hearts break together. Does he think that if stops hoarding the toys, I will bring Riley back to him? I throw one, thinking, ‘do you want to play fetch?’ Reagan climbs into my lap and lies down with a single heavy sigh.

The veil of grief lays heavily on us tonight.