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Barry Crimmins

words to live near


Lloyd The Dog

Moving on, with Lloyd Sunday, September 2, 2007

Moving on, with Lloyd

Happiness was his stock in trade.
Below -- at his first birthday party.

As much sorrow as I've articulated over the illness and loss of our beloved Lloyd, there are details that will never be shared. Thy're details that stay with you after spending the final days, minutes and seconds with someone you love and for whom you are responsible. No matter how philosophically you attempt to take things, no matter how much truth is found in platitudes, nothing can overcome the memories of someone so dear clinging desperately to life and love, only to lose the struggle.

He was much too young and full of life to go. He lived in a world full of wonder and nurture. Fun was his birthright, happiness his stock in trade. Karen and I have taken his death worse than we ever dared imagine and we'd imagined that it would be worse than anything we could imagine. What was once paradise has become a purgatory. Our sobs bounce around an echo chamber inside a prison. There is no overstating what he was and meant to us. There is no exaggerating his extraordinary qualities. There is no salve for the horrendous wounds in our hearts.

We will never make our way past this because to do so would be to leave our Lloydy behind and that's something we never could or would do. But we will move on with him in our hearts and it is a process we must soon begin or we'll risk sinking into the quicksand of self-pity and regret. Intellectually we know we gave Lloyd the best possible life we could. Our feelings toward him are only stronger after eight days without him. We did the absolute best we could for him and he knew it, as much as dogs know of such things. He always felt secure and confident and loved. We more than met our obligations to him and because meeting those obligations became such a habit, it's that much more difficult to face life without him.

All day long I still catch myself wondering where he is and if he needs food, water or exercise. I blurt out his name at least a few times an hour, just as I always did when he was here. Karen looks for him everywhere and speaks almost only of him. We aren't getting better and so we need to do something. The obvious move is to begin looking for another dog or maybe even two. We/re thinking we should find a hound who is as heartbroken as we are because he or she has lost the one he or she loves. We are also thinking we should get a puppy because puppies require so much attention and care. We're thinking having two dogs wouldn't create an unfair circumstance for one because neither would be expected to do the impossible -- replace Lloyd.

We have a debt to pay to the dog world. And we have the currency to pay it. Karen and I know and love dogs. We have a home that was selected and streamlined with a dog in mind. It's one of the last places around where dogs can run free (under proper supervision, of course.) We know that if we have a dog or two to care for, we'll have to pick up our heads and begin to move on, with Lloyd in our hearts. So sooner or later, that's what we are going to do.