i'm beginning to think i may live.
Today i finally could feel the other dogs. i've had other times like this: depression so deep my senses shut down. Sadness so complete i couldn't feel/see/hear/anything around me. Now at least i recognize it for what it is. When there is information coming in that i cannot process at the time, i'm cocooned in a silence of the senses.
My mother dying and leaving me with pages of angry and hurtful words: silence. Losing babies to miscarriage: silence. And now losing our Dynamo dog to a sudden onslaught of cancer cells: silence.
For a few days i could hold the other two dogs in my lap and even pet them, but my senses were silent. It was as if i could not actually feel their fur, or their licks, or their sighs as they nestled into my lap. Silence. i guess that's what shock is about. When the interruption hits that carries a sudden overwhelming pain, the senses say "no more" and stop working.
i know i'm reacting this intensely to what some folks might say was "just a dog." But Dynamo was never "just a dog." Dynamo, brought home at the size of a smallish meatloaf, tried to run our home like a toddler does: Pick me up. Put me down. Feed me. Hold me. Love me. Gimme. And in the fashion of doting parents, we did. He fascinated us with his 6 foot tall personality stuffed into a three pound body. And when he seemed lonely and i felt unable to fulfill his needs, we even got him friends. Well, honestly, the second dog was a friend for Dynamo, and came in the tiny package of Barnaby, a sweet and loving brown and white piebald miniature dachshund with blue eyes. The third and extra "friend" was more for me--a little chocolate boy being sold as "pet only" since he was not good enough for AKC standards. "OH but you ARE good enough for ME!" i said. i called him Morris, after the Morris the Moose storybook character. Morris is a bit big for a miniature dachshund, at full size he is about 17 pounds, and "mini" is supposed to be no more than 11. But he was chocolate (my favorite food ever) and spotty, like he'd been front and center when a chocolate factory exploded. He had a lop-sidey nose and mouth, and i knew he was meant to be mine.
Three dogs could not have more different personalities--Dynamo, large and in charge, first in line to bark at any intruders, even if said "intruder" was simply the same guest who just stood up. "Same person, Dynamo," we'd say, "Same person, he just stood up--" And Dynamo would feel the need for the last word, the last growl. We knew who was in charge. Barnaby, the people pleaser who loves everybody, would follow Dyno's lead and bark, then prance over to the person for petting. Morris, the Moose would bark his deep bark, also following Dynamo's lead, but all the while pressing back into the safety of mom or dad. Morris the Timid is more his style.
Dyno, never one to back down, once actually bit the nose of a large pitbull mix. He was clearly in charge in all situations. On a walk he wanted to be first, and with two other dogs on leashes this is a difficult thing. When mornings came, bringing time to go outside to do their "business" Dynamo would hold back, sinking further into the bedsheets of our bed. "Naw, you guys go ahead, I'm gonna catch a few more zzzzz's," his body language said. We would either have to force the point and drag him out of bed, or like the bad parents we often were, we'd let him stay in bed. "Okay, sweetie," we doting parents would say, "you can wait." Bad, bad parents. But after all, Dyno was in charge.
It feels so odd to have only the Two Amigos, missing their Numero Uno. And we are definitely feeling the loss of our Numero Uno. But i'm thankful to at least be feeling something besides the blankness. i think i may be on the way to healing. And i can only keep praying for Dynamo's daddy to start healing as well.