I hurt. All over. Even at my fingertips. In fact, I didn’t think I was going to be able to run today.
This morning I lost my best buddy. My Jayj. My Jayjee. My Jayjers. My Bubby Boy. My Bubbers. My Bubby. My Jayjee-Boy. My AJ. He was six.
You may remember he wasn’t the best jogging partner. But he was the best cuddler. At least until he got too hot and had to relocate to the floor. And he gave the best Boxer kisses…if you’re into that sort of thing.
We actually didn’t want him at first. We went to look at his litter with a different puppy boy in mind. But that dog had been spoken for. It didn’t matter. It was love at first sight for me. AJ was, in my opinion, the cutest puppy of all time. I picked him up, looked in his lovable round eyes, and he leaned in and bumped my nose with his. I laughed. He did it again. Then, I did it to him. And again and again. From that day on, he had my heart.
I don’t know what to write about this morning, so bear with me. It was awful. But then it seemed like things were going to be okay. And then it was awful again.
I was sitting with AJ in the back of the minivan, his head was on my lap. I was scratching behind his ears and rubbing the side of his deep chest, the one that made him drop like an anchor in the pool at my parents house once (I jumped in with all my clothes on to save him).
We were parked in the garage waiting this morning. Waiting because we’d already been to the vet, just a couple minutes from our house. Of course, it’s Saturday, so they don’t open until 8 and it was 7:30. All of the emergency clinics are at least 30 minutes away, so we decided to go home to let Lucy and Annie out to go potty, and so that Mr. T could change poor T Junior’s soaked diaper.
So, I sat in the back of the Odyssey trying to stay calm and stroking AJ’s head. He’d collapsed earlier this morning, something he’s done before. But he’s always recovered. This morning was different. He still couldn’t get up. Earlier, we thought he was gone, but he came back. That’s when we put him in the van and whisked T Junior out of his crib.
He seemed better while we were waiting in the garage.
Mr. T was upstairs changing T Junior.
I had my legs tucked to one side and my Bubby rested his head on my knees. He gazed at my face with the same lovable round eyes. I smiled at him. I felt I needed to talk to him to keep him from being scared, but maybe it was me that was scared. Anyway, I told him about when we brought him home and how he got to ride on my lap the whole way in the 4-Runner. And, about how we kept stopping along the freeway so he could go potty. But he wouldn’t go because he didn’t like the snow, which is funny because snow is his favorite. He used to loved to try to catch snowflakes…after they landed on the ground! One of his favorite games was when Mr. T would toss him snowballs or throw an entire armload of the white stuff right in his face!
I was talking to AJ when he starting panting hard. “It’s okay, Jayjee,” I said, then screamed for Mr. T who couldn’t hear me. I called for my husband a couple more times before I decided I might be scaring the dog. I got on my knees, leaned over my boy — Mr. T always called him a mama’s boy — and put my face close to his. I rubbed behind his ears. “It’s okay, Jayjee, I’m here. Mama’s here.” I kept saying that over and over because that’s what I’ve done in the past.
But this time it didn’t work.
A minute later, Mr. T came back in the garage with T Junior. “I think he’s gone, honey,” I wept. Mr. T tried rubbing his chest. We cried, we hugged. I pressed my face to AJ’s neck. I petted and kissed him, his little red hairs sticking to my lips. I stayed back there while Mr. T drove us back to the vet.
It’s been a really hard day, and I didn’t actually plan on writing all of this. I’m too sad. I can’t shake it.
After we came back from the vet this morning, I was numb. My limbs felt tingly and a little bit like Jell-O. At one point, I lost it and crumbled on the floor. I couldn’t run.
Finally, we got out of the house after T Junior woke up from his very long nap. Mr. T took me to REI for some retail therapy. I got a very cool running shirt there, and I’ll write more about it, maybe, tomorrow. I did feel better away from the house, but as soon as we were on our way back home, the sadness gripped me again.
We were home for about 20 minutes before I decided to go for the run I was supposed to do this morning. “I think it’ll make me feel better,” I told Mr. T.
“It’s okay to be sad,” he said.
“I’m tired of being sad.”
But what turned out to be a 3.5-mile run didn’t help. I ran and cried.
So I am sorry for this long, sad post. I’m hoping this will help make the hurting stop.