When I woke up early this morning, I was alone in bed. I went downstairs and saw Jon sitting on the living room floor wrapped in a quilt with Izzy’s head on his lap. Over the past year, Izzy had become my dog as much as Jon’s. But on the last day of his life, Izzy wanted Jon. You could see the love and trust pass between them. I imagine Izzy was looking at Jon in the same way he did years ago, when he decided to be Jon’s dog.
Izzy was my dream dog. The kind of dog I’d always wanted but somehow never had, maybe I didn’t think I deserved to have such a great dog. I started taking him into my studio about a year ago when Frieda became Jon’s writing dog. He was perfect for me. He would find a corner in the studio and sleep while I worked. Once or twice a day I would look down and see him staring at me. We would snuggle for a while ( I always felt like he knew I needed a break) then he’d go back to his corner.
I never had to worry about him, he didn’t barked at the mailcarrier and if the UPS man came to the door, Izzy was happy to see him. When we went for a walk or did yard chores, I never had to worry about him running off. He was always there, paying attention but not needing constant attention.
Izzy had become my dog. That’s how I knew there was something wrong with him when, on Monday, he slept too long under my desk and had a hard time walking on the path and I felt the strange lumps under his chin. When we found out he had cancer I had no doubts that he should suffer as little as possible and it was best to let him go. And I knew he shouldn’t be cremated, but buried in the shade garden in the front yard where he loved to sit. When I planted the flowers on his grave, I felt so good about being able to do these things for him. I’ve always seen Izzy as a spirit dog and believed he’d have a smooth transition from this life to whatever comes next. I cried for the three days before he died knowing that death is the most natural thing in the world and thinking I would find some relief when he was no longer in pain and knowing that we had done everything we could for him.
But now, after all that, I still can’t stop crying. Because Izzy opened something up in me when I finally allowed my self to have and love the dog I always wanted. And now he’s gone and I’m wide open, feeling emotions I’ve never felt before and don’t have words for.