About a year ago someone I dearly loved died. Actually, two someones. Both of my dogs I had growing up were ready to go at the same time. Baloo and Jenny (not my sister..ha ha) got to go to Heaven together. I’ve had Baloo since I was in grade 4 so I really felt like we grew up together. Jenny came into my life when my mom married Mark and although her and I didn’t bond like Baloo and I did, (as she spent most of her time chewing my socks but not making holes and worshipping the mighty and holy Mark who was her everything) I really loved her too.
Baloo was incredibly important to me as I was growing up. She was something really constant in my life that always accepted me despite me giving her 5000 kisses a day and bothering her rather often. I was so proud of her because she could run like the wind and she’d always keep up with me when I was on a bike ride, even when I was going downhill as fast as I could. I loved her so much.
I remember when I was in grade 5 and 6, Baloo, Juliet and I would play hide and seek. I would hide and Baloo would come find me. She’d get so excited when she found me, it was so funny. I also remember Christmas with her, she loved Christmas. It’s like she knew what was going on. She’d walk under the Christmas tree and get tinsel hanging off her tail. When we’d open presents she’d just watch, tail wagging. When she finally received her massive Christmas rawhide bone she’d walk around the house for the rest of the day with this worried look on her face. She was trying to find the most perfect place to hide her bone. She’d hide it in one spot and go lay down, then you could tell she was stressing about it. She’d get back up and get it and walk around another hour trying to hide it again. It usually ended up in some random wastebasket and she could finally rest easy.
I remember always thinking that when Baloo went then I would freak out. I would completely lose it and go nutty for quite some time. But when her body started shutting down and the decision was made to put her and Jenny down together I just cried for Mark because Jenny meant so much to him.
I couldn’t cry for Baloo, I couldn’t feel the hurt because it was too much for me. I just neatly placed it in the back of my mind and went on with life without letting those feelings in. I just couldn’t handle the hurt at the time.
Now with reading Just Making it up As I Go about her dog enjoying the snow and another friend talking about his dog leaping into every shovel full of snow as it flies through the air, the feelings started to rise up. Baloo loved playing in the snow.
Now, a year after her death, I’m finally able to grieve her. I’m crying now even as I write this, I wish she could have gotten to know my kids more. I wish Silas could remember meeting her. He knows her from a photo that I keep of her. I wish I had one last chance to say goodbye to her, kiss her on her temple where it was the warmest and softest, give her one last beloved belly rub. I wish she could have held on a few more weeks so I could have enjoyed one more Christmas with her.
I seriously can still smell her even, I can feel exactly how her and Jenny’s fur felt. Sometimes I almost ask my mom about the both of them and how they’re doing.
I am thankful though, I had a few years away from home to kind of detach from her. Every time I’d leave her again I’d say goodbye like it would be the last time and off I went. Each time it got easier.
I’m also thankful that I can finally cry about it. It actually feels good. I’m letting myself feel love for her again, even though it hurts.
My darling Baloo
Jenny looking very old.