I hold myself together during the hours of a crisis. I cried a bit when I knew it would be the day I couldn't go on thinking Cyrus was okay, thinking he could make it through another day. And I'd been told he was on the maximum dose of pain medication. The level of antibiotics was as high as it could go. Finally nothing was helping. It was all getting worse. And maybe he'd been suffering too long. Maybe I was just selfish in keeping him with me to fill my need to have him here.
Every day since his death there has been the oddly timed firecracker popping off somewhere on the block, or just behind the house in the alley. And the reflex holds to not react, so as not to feed his terror of anything that sounds like gunshot. I look over the bed to see how he's doing. It's just a reflex. But I will always hate the Forth of July for all the terrified dogs.
The orange and cream Tibetan rug that was under his tempurpedic mattress and cedar bed on top of that is now bare and visible. It could be a treasure exposed, but it just seems like an absence, a loss, a minus in my life.
Yesterday I spent most of the day crying. Loss is always my fault. I cannot grieve, it seems, without believing that somehow, if I'd done something differently, Cyrus would have made it through another summer then a fall and then... I know why I have to blame myself. It's the phantom pain of the scapegoat.
I have a few more days of dog-sitting Roscoe. He spent last night here. We had a little slumber party. It's probably the last time I'll sleep that soundly for a good long time.