Lynn Gold (figmo) wrote,
Lynn Gold

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Dog Day Afternoon

I got to work around 10:45am. A message from Warren awaited me. The vet clinic where Fuzzball was euthanized finally, after a mistaken shipment to the last place I wanted them to go (the hospital that mistreated and neglected her, causing her to suffer irreparable brain damage), had her ashes back. Warren wanted to know if he should go pick them up. He had offered to, rather than trusting the U.S. Mail to ship them yet again. I told him to go ahead and get them.

I couldn't concentrate on anything the rest of the morning. My eyes kept tearing, and I kept trying to not be vocal as I cried.

At 11:50, one of my co-workers nabbed me to go to lunch. The tearing had stopped, and I was sitting in a daze, staring at my timecard, trying to add simple one-digit integers and failing.

After lunch there was another message on the phone. It was Warren; he was about to go, but he wanted me to call and make sure there were no further financial obligations. I called; there weren't. I called him back. I hung up, then cried some more.

I then went to dispose of an empty diet Coke can in the recycle bin in the break room, but got distracted when someone had his almost two-year-old poodle/shih-tzu mix in the hallway. The dog came up to me and started sniffing my shoes; clearly she still smelled Fuzzball. The dog's name was Betsy, and she was only slightly larger than Fuzzball had been.

Betsy's behavior was very similar to Fuzzball's; her owner and I were discussing logistics of air travel with a dog her size. He was trying to train her to walk without a lead -- just like Fuzzball used to.

I never made it to the break room. I went back to my cubicle and cried some more.

I then took a roundabout way to the break room so I wouldn't see Betsy and get all welled-up again. A part of me wanted to spend all day around her. I missed having my doggie soooooo much, and it was hitting home in a major way. I had just met this dog, but I wanted to pick her up and cuddle and snuggle her. I was resisting because I knew I'd look like a dork in front of all these guy engineers I didn't know from a hole in the wall.

Anyhow, I made one roundabout trip, got some work done, then went to make another roundabout trip, but this time Betsy and her owner were in that hall. They were also on the way to the break room. A small group was hanging around, so he started showing off her tricks. The first one was "high five." Fuzzball used to do that, too. Her "repertoire" and Fuzzball's were almost identical, except Fuzzball would pirouette on command. I was gripping the inside corners of my eyes to block the tear ducts and trying to be casual about wiping my eyes.

I went back to my cubicle and cried some more. I had done all the work expected of me for the day, so I mostly bided time till it was time to go. I got caught up reading other folks' LJ entries and that helped take my mind off things. Then Warren called. He was finally in San Francisco, the halfway point to Fuzzball's ashes.

After I got off the phone, I cried some more. I then realized I'd been at work two extra hours, so I made sure my boss saw I was still there so I could count the hours some other time when I needed them.

I drove home, then went into bed to rest before dinner. The phone rang; it was Warren. He'd just picked up the ashes and had to stop because he was losing it. He said they were in a box with a plaster cast of her pawprint on top. He then hung up so I could get going. Instead, I cried -- bawled -- for 20 minutes. I was barely able to compose myself enough to go out for dinner. In fact, I almost cancelled because I was barely able to see out of my (very red) eyes.

Dinner went okay; I only got misty once when we were talking about animals. The rest of the time we talked about lots of other things and people. I was able to cheer up enough to eat.

I got home from dinner, and no sooner had I settled into bed when the phone rang. Warren again. He said, "Fuzz and I went to Bodega Bay." I lost it. We got off the phone. I cried for another ten minutes. I called Diana, still sobbing. We talked for about ten minutes when my call waiting kicked in. It was Warren again. He was ordering dinner at a Burger King where the help didn't speak enough English to understand the difference between "chocolate" and "vanilla." Oy. He also wanted to know where to put Fuzzball's ashes when he got home.

After that call I got back on the phone with Diana. We talked for about an hour with me sobbing the whole time. She gets major style points for putting up with me when she was struggling with her homework and Microsoft's excuse for a programming environment.

Warren just called; he's in San Francisco, parked, watching a cruise ship disembark. He loves ships. I'm glad he's doing something fun; he deserves it, especially after the onerous mission he performed today.

Meanwhile, I still feel terrible about Fuzzball. She didn't want me to put her down and I knew it, which is why I feel so dirty about the whole thing. Yeah, she was in pain, yeah, she was seizuring non-stop, but she was counting on me to fix the pain and seizures. I was "mommy," the one who made all the boo-boos go away. I was her protector, only I couldn't protect her from this.

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