I know this must seem completely out of left field. But here I am. I just put the girls to bed, David should be walking in fairly shortly, and I just was cleaning up the girls’ dinner plates. On the plates were the last two uneaten bites of salmon. As I grabbed them to toss them down the disposal, my eyes filled with tears.
It’s not a common or uncommon occurrence. Five months after saying goodbye, I can still say there isn’t a single day that has passed that I haven’t thought of Koda. That’s not to say it’s been all-consuming. The first month I was riddled with guilt. The second month, the guilt began to fade but left the gut-wrenching feeling of sadness. From there, it’s slowly began to fade too. I’m mostly able to laugh about Koda now as I remember her dramatic, heavy sighs and loving/borderline needy ways. I smile when I remember her reluctant but dedicated decision to swim after us in the lake instead of to be left whining on the dock. Her love for going on hikes that would quite literally have her bouncing off the walls. Her soft ears that somehow sounded like a helicopter landing when she shook them each morning.
Then there are other moments. Little moments that still catch me by surprise and leave a lump in my throat. Reaching the end of a peanut butter jar, a delivery man knocking on the door, packing the car up for a road trip… two leftover salmon bites. Those moments I start to whistle for her then realize all over again that she isn’t here anymore. Those moments are tough and those moments are why my eyes are filled with tears as I type this.
So if you would ask me how it is 5 months after losing a furry family member, I would tell you we miss her but we are all doing OK. Hailey still talks about her and tries to pick out which cloud she thinks she is sleeping on. Kaitlyn will see a picture, point and say “Ko-a. Missh.” David and I play around with the idea of another dog, but usually end up just talking about how Koda was the greatest dog there ever was or will be. We laugh. But then, there are those little moments that still trip me up and take my breath away. I wonder if those will fade with time too.
Maybe so, but I’m confident by now that the love never will. Koda was my first dog and though it feels a bit silly to bringing it up again on a public forum, I just feel like I have to say, for all the other animal lovers out there, that I get it. I get that we all don’t talk about the loss constantly, because really, what is there to say? But I know we all think of our sweet pets all the time. And though the pain of saying goodbye is tremendous, we’d probably all do it all over again. Because the love, companionship and memories they bring are undoubtedly worth it.
But anyway, that’s how I’m doing 5 months after saying goodbye to our Koda-bug.
Have you ever had to say goodbye to a pet?
What was the time that followed like for you?