Death of a Household Mammal

Let me just get this out of the way: today’s post isn’t going to be a funny one. Unless you’re some sort of masochist in which, by all means, have yourself a good laugh I suppose.

Today’s post is about “death,” I’m afraid. Death of a family member to be more specific. Actually, to be more specific, death of a pet. A good pet, too. A dog actually. A really good dog. A dog I’ve had for, well, as long as I can remember really.

"Rusty" before losing his eye to a tumor what we were told was cancer. I avoided using pictures involving my hands or other parts of myself because I am still very mysterious, like a really cool ghost.

To be honest, I don’t even know if I want to write this. Or share it for that matter. Or even continue one more sentence after this one on the matter.

But I will. Because this is how I cope with things. I need to vent and set down all the cards and take a good, hard look at them. I’m not going to lay here and spit the whole game about whether or not I should be upset over the death of an animal. Actually, that is silly. Why would I even do that in the first place? Anyone who’s ever owned a pet before (I mean like, a loyal pet. An advanced animal. A mammal) would know exactly how much these creatures mean to us. It’s uncanny how nature avoids remorse for some animals, and gives others a life full of joy, ease, and store-bought dog treats.

Just to give a bit of a backstory, Rusty was a a Toy Poodle (ahurr hurr hurr) that lived about 15 years (human years). I’ve had him for as long as I can physically remember. He lived a long life for his Phylum. And of course, while I may seem right now as if I’m not very serious or broken-up about the whole thing, I assure you I am. I’ve already gone through the routine of remembering the “good ol’ days” and brooding over the whole event because that’s just how death goes. There’s no two ways about it. You have to come to terms with it, because all things do end (maybe one day, you might die too!)

Scratch that, they don’t exactly “end” I would say. This is where I’m having some trouble myself. See, I don’t necessarily have, own, align to, or take fellowship in any religion or spiritual belief. But as hard as this article is trying to derail itself right now, I’m not going to fall down the path of some really pretentious allegory involving sheep and wolves (the wolves being the clergy. And you being the sheep. Sheep!).

I’ve been struggling with this for awhile now, but I think I’ve come to a resolve that isn’t as bitter as some of the ones I found online. It’s not about them, it’s about me. It’s about the impression things make on me. In my mind, Rusty is a fully-developed, three-dimensional character that I would have otherwise never known unless I’d spent my life with him (which I did!). He is quite literally playing the same role in the mental plane as he did on the physical plane. Everyone in my life occupies a spot in my brain, which is why no one will ever really die, or, “end.” Everyone is a goddamn immortal to me.

And while he has passed, perhaps some part of his silly (actually he was a more reserved creature) dog brain makes him understand this, that he meant something to my family, and become part of it. Yes, and while I might lounge around and bawl at some points today or during the next weeks or whenever, it’s only because he lived. And is still living.

I’m not going to tie you over with “pet death” clichés anymore, but he “was a good dog.” And always will be. This actually isn’t my first time dealing with the death of a pet, but I haven’t had any of them pass within the span of me owning this blog. So Rusty, you’re the first one to get an obituary. Grats.

Rusty after having lost his eye (though you can probably barely see it here. I don't know, I'm only staring at the thumbnail before adding this). I'm gonna miss fetching you your meals, though.

In other news, enjoy your 11/11/11’s, everyone. And so will I, because I’m sure that, if it were up to him, he wouldn’t want to see me pouting over it.

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2 Responses to Death of a Household Mammal

  1. DBiz says:

    Very heartfelt. I’m really sorry for your loss. Best wishes. 😦

  2. Panda says:

    I’m truly sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you.

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