Two years ago today we lost our Ed. I know he was "just" a dog. I know it's probably silly that I am sitting here with tears. But to us, he was family. He was our Ed--our melancholy, deep, beautiful old soul. In honor of him, I am copying and pasting my post about him from two years ago.
I still love you, Ed.... <3
Then I woke up, and of course it was just a dream. Ed was gone, and I knew that he wouldn’t come back ever again. I will no longer be able to stare into his soft, knowing eyes. I will never again wrap my arms around his solid, lumpy softness. I will never again rest my head on his back and breathe in his musky scent.
Ed died last Monday of gastric dilatation. I didn’t even get to tell him a proper goodbye, because I didn’t know that Matt would feel his last heartbeats beneath his fingers as he carried our good old dog into the vet that morning. I had been talking to my mother-in-law on the phone, expressing my concern about Ed’s obvious discomfort, when Matt’s call beeped in. I had made Matt promise me he would call me if the vet decided to put him to sleep so that I could go there and say goodbye and hold him as he died. But it was too late. When I called my mother-in-law back moments later, she didn’t even speak when she answered the phone. She couldn’t talk, because she was crying too. Matt came and picked me up and we returned to the vet together with Jack and Molly. He just looked like he was sleeping there on the table, and I don’t think it really sunk in as I held him and hugged him and told him goodbye that I was, in fact, telling him goodbye forever. An hour later we picked Amélie up in the parking lot of her school, and she held on to her daddy and cried as we told her the news.
I know that a lot of people love their dogs, but Ed was special. He truly was an old soul. When we got Ed, he was a reject puppy who was skinny and neurotic and all feet and ears. We instantly fell in love. At the time, I was struggling deeply with an eating disorder, and as strange as it sounds, Ed’s arrival was a crucial impetus in my healing. Ed unconditionally loved me. I unconditionally loved Ed. I honestly don’t think I had ever allowed myself to be unconditionally loved before.
He always seemed so sad, though. When he was three years old we ascertained that his melancholy temperament was due to loneliness, so we brought home a very young soul, Molly. We quickly realized that loneliness was not his problem, and I don’t know that he ever forgave us for ousting him from his only-child position in our family and introducing to him not only a dog sister, but also two human siblings. Still, he loved us, followed us everywhere, and always, always provided a solid yet soft self to wrap hurting arms around.
He was part-human, I think…or perhaps he was more than human. I remember one time, especially, when a dear friend flew in to visit me because she was in the middle of a heart-breaking crisis. We spent hours on my couch talking and crying, and every time my friend would be about to cry, Ed would lay his head on her lap and look up at her with limpid eyes full of sympathy and understanding. It was uncanny. It was amazing. It was Ed.
He should have been a bird dog. He should have spent his life galloping through fields and bringing his master his prey. Instead, he was stuck with us. He patiently stalked squirrels in our back yard, “pointed” at anything even remotely interesting, and climbed, with both increasing difficulty and frequency, on our couch or bed. He watched us through his old-soul eyes, and I think that if I would have stopped, flung my arms around him, and listened more often, I might be a wiser woman today.
My heart hurts as I write this. I can’t even see my comptuer screen.
I miss you, Ed. I love you. Please come back to me in my dreams again so I can busy my nose in your fur, and please, please, God…let there be at least one dog in heaven, and let that dog be Ed.