Due Date for Pearl
May 24, 2011
I lost my one and only dog after 11 years together on May 9.
Emily, my heart dog, the subject of dozens of my Pets columns in the Beacon Journal, will always be with me in spirit. I apologize for the platitude, but it seems like that's the only way we Americans talk about death. You know what I mean: "She's in a better place" and all that bull.
The truth of it is that for those of us left behind, death is a corridor of raw and painful emotion. We have to walk through it. It hurts.
Readers of my Pets columns, which ended when I left the paper at the end of 2008, heard a lot about Emily. How she changed my life. Filled a hole in my heart. Made me want to create. Connected the dots between my lifetime of sewing and the world of art. Heck. She practically handed me the keys to my studio at Summit Artspace. She was one powerful dog.
Emily slipped away gradually over the past year and a half. She almost died in June 2010, but rallied. I could see her dreams were deeper and farther away. I knew she was visiting the other side in her sleep. I felt my grip loosen. I knew our days together were numbered. I told her repeatedly, unendingly ceaselessly how much I loved her.
No measure of anticipated grief makes the loss less painful, but I was prepared. I started saying goodbye to her the day I adopted her 11 years ago, knowing she was a gift of the universe with an expiration date. All things are.
Meanwhile, I will soon welcome an amazing new dog to my home. She's already in my heart. Her name is Pearl and she's a whippet. She's fast as a bullet yet emotionally delicate and sweetly clingy. I am having a new, taller fence built for her so she can have the run -- vertically or horizontally -- of my garden.
The squirrels have been put on notice.
Pearl has been the beloved pet of Sharon and Jack Hone of Uniontown. The couple is moving to a smaller home and Pearl's departure is going to be hard on them. I am deeply grateful to them for entrusting me with their sweet girl. My doors will always be open and I hope they visit us often.