The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
a small part of the incredible poem "Funeral Blues"
After sixteen years my best friend has left me. Dakota was doing worse, and then, still worse, and then she gave me "the look" you had all been telling me about. She also started to whimper in pain, which I could NOT deal with. I precededed to do one of the hardest things of my entire life yet, and took her into the vet on 1 June. I sobbed like a baby all the way there. I wanted to turn around and go home, to YELL at death, "No, she's MINE, you can't have her!" But I thought about how she had whimpered in pain all afternoon, and I kept driving. I got her there and we went for a short walk through some green grass, and spent time together. She was very calm, which I found odd, becasuse she always shakes and just hates the vet. Not this day. Dakota knew, and she was okay with it. I think she did it for me. She was the strong one. The vet came in and the entire thing was very peaceful. Her heart stopped at 1800. Exactly 6 pm. I held her the entire time, my arms wrapped around her neck. Then I sat and just tried to memorize her face, and kiss her nose enough for the rest of my life. I even sort of convinced myself she wasn't gone, even though I have been a vet tech and am now an RN, and knew quite well she was. The staff were incredible and took me out through the back, telling me to settle on the bill another day. I loved them for making this part as easy as they could, and caring about my feelings.
The drive home was the most desolate hell I have ever experienced. The world seemed black and pointless around me. The days since have been terrible. My superiors have been cold and not understanding, putting me through far more than deserved, although I thank my co-workers for being supportive and caring. I am truly ready to hit the road for Florida--to live with one of my best friend's in Gainesville--I feel my time in Texas is done. I hate it here, and sadly, always have. I have maybe two friends, which is odd, I've always had lots of friends. (Best friends, just a couple...). Five years of hoping a place will get better is a fair shot. I want to leave nursing as well. To do what, I have no idea, but there sure are alot of beautiful barns with $$$$ where I'm going. Maybe I'll go shovel manure for awhile. The difference job wise between nursing and shoveling would be minute.
Since 'Kota died, the house is so empty, I constantly perk up when I hear one of the I.D. tags on a cat or my other dog of a few months rattle, I am poised; waiting to jump up and help Dakota with whatever she needs. Then it hits me. Hard. She's not here. I'll never be able to kiss her on the nose again. I feel like I'm in a fog. Can't eat or sleep, on the edge of losing my mind, which I won't but this HAS TO BE CLOSE. I cannot reconcile the little four week old darling I got in Key West and kept for all these years, to this, well, this urn that I have on the shelf. I am having a mahogony handmade box made with a picture and a plaque on it, but it is not here yet. I just got the urn (and it's ugly, plain, and white) back yesterday and have gone and talked to it once or twice, and shook it to let Dakota know we were home, and that I'm here. Her collar and tag, a card a co-worker sent, and some Wildflower seeds are also there on the shelf where I keep the Dresden Angels from Germany that my mom gave me. I had the chance to bury her on my friend's property, but I want to keep her with me to eventually have a small portion go into the ocean in Key West (her favorite beach to play!) and the rest to go with my ashes someday. I also will not stay in Texas and so burying her here was out of the question.
I suppose one of the hardest things to deal with in not having her here is the "alone" factor. I have been single since my only marriage fourteen years ago. I pledged that I would only be with the right person after that mistake at the age of nineteen, and deal with being alone (if I didn't meet the perfect one) after that. But I always had Dakota. And when that wonderful dog was around, you WERE NOT alone. All the lonely times I would experience were better when she was present. She loved the beach, open restaruants (she didn't need a leash), going for our leashless walks and meeting people, chasing her rope bones (for hours!) and chewing on her rawhides (I had to throw away the Dingo bone bag, it is SO her and looking at it just GOT me), her hanging out of my Jeep or car for "her" rides, and following me for miles on my mountain bike for a trek. She loved horses and trail rides too! I suppose the days will get better, but loss is not my strong suite, I am finding. I will do another post down the road that is a proper tribute to Dakota, and her wonderful personality. Right now I just can't. In fact, right now, the whole front of my shirt is wet, and you'd think I'd never heard of a kleenex. But she deserves some real face time as the amazing, incredible, funny gal that she was, one that will explain why anyone would be so damn sad after having a friend like her around for sixteen years!!
On the Florida front. I do want to go. Probably more than even I really know. I have always promised myself I would move back, and with my friend losing her husband, When Sorrows Like Sea Billows Roll, the timing seems right. Scary, but right. Full circle. I think Jackson will love the jumper barn I have already picked out in Florida, don't you? It is 30 minutes away from the Ocala area--HITS, Canterbury--lots of big name Grand Prix shows, so if I play it right, I will receive lots of jumping training, and of course we will continue our trail rides which we both love more than anything! I, myself never expect to be a Grand Prix anything, but I know I'll enjoy the lessons and showing, even if I'm just in baby classes! Honestly, I don't care. So, while I have a barn (or two) picked out, they can't be too snobby, or snarky as they can tend to be at the higher levels. That, I am certainly not, and won't put up with! I want down to earth and also competitive, the ribbons or the barn status should not rule the day. But the beauty of these places leaves me drooling. Bottom lip on the floor drooling. Especially after flat, brown, dry, scrub tree, no real Grand Prix circuit Texas. At least no circuit in my neck of this huge state. No doubt, Jackson will receive the royal treatment and love every minute of it, even if we can only afford pasture boarding if I leave nursing!
The times they are a changin' as old Bob Dylan used to say, come what may. We never know what is going to come, but it SURE IS going to come regardless, right? Gotta go, gotta move on. Nothin' stays the same....
Brilliant sentiment. But still scary as hell.
And Dakota, I'll be seeing you at the pump.....Mama
If you are wondering about the comment above, see my post When I Get To Heaven.