12:20:2003 Entry: "Ann : Sinking In"
It's the hardest on the days that Stan goes to work early. Those were the days that I fed the dogs in the morning. Stan would take Plato out to pee shortly before he left, and bring Hieronymus from upstairs and put him in the pet taxi downstairs with pillows and bedding (otherwise he'd walk around all over the house with his toenails clicking on the hardwood floor and I wouldn't be able to finish my sleep). When I'd get up, I'd open the pet taxi to release Hieronymus, open the back door to the porch, feed the cats, and try to wrangle Plato out of the porch before I released Hieronymus outside. Then I'd bring the pug back in, and wrangle Hieronymus back inside while I put a leash on Plato (Hieronymus could go leashless out back...he was that well-behaved). Then when Plato was done, I'd fix food for both of them. They'd both stare at me from below, Hieronymus bubbling with anticipation and licking his chops for food. Hieronymus would jump up and down on his hind legs...after he recovered from his accident in 2000 he got his appetite back with a vengeance. He'd growl over his food if Plato tried to come close. They'd devour it greedily, but sometimes Plato was a bit finicky and tip his bowl over in defiance. But when they both finished, they'd then exchange bowls and lick out any remaining residue their dog buddy didn't get. Now there's no wrangling...I just feed the cats and take Plato out and feed him. It's all very simple now. Plato is even being less finicky, maybe because he knows his bowl is the only chance he gets...there's no leftover essence in another bowl anymore. And in the morning when Plato would be lying under the covers at the foot of the bed and the two cats would be walking up and down my blanketed body, I'd hear snorts and snuffles coming out of the kitchen, and I'd know that there's another animal in the house besides the ones in the bedroom with me. But now there's only snorts and snuffles in my mind, and the three animals in the bedroom with me are the only animals.
Maybe if there was some advanced warning, it would've been easier. Although it's good he went so quickly and didn't suffer and linger for weeks, being a seemingly happy, healthy, hungry dog on Friday morning to being put to sleep the following Monday is just way too quick to let it sink in. At least if we'd taken him to the vets and they diagnosed him with having a beginning problem, and then if he got a little more feeble over the course of a few months, that would've been good warning, but literally, there was no warning. It was too fast. And I still haven't caught up.