Ruby, My Dear
There’s a deal we make when we bring a pet into our lives. We give them love and sustenance, we try to give them full and happy lives.
They bring us sweetness, and moments of giddy chaos. You’re sad? Howzabout if I sneeze in your face?
According to the rules of the deal they love us, in spite of the fact that we are goofballs, because they are also goofballs.
When everything is absolutely terrible, they are blissfully unaware. Even in the face of catastrophe they’re wondering if you’re going to sit down for lap time or toss a treat somewhere. Are you aware that dinner is mere hours away?
The love and companionship you give them is returned manyfold. Though they signed no paperwork, that seems to be part of the deal.
There is another important part of the deal that you can’t get out of, as much as you’d like to: at some point that small and complicated and silly and sweet and occasionally absurd goofball you brought into your life will break your heart.
My dear dear Ruby has broken my heart.
Rather suddenly, over the past week or so, she started losing weight and seemed exhausted. X-rays this morning showed profound lung damage from cancer.
I held her in my lap as the doctor put her to sleep. Somehow, as her suffering ended and she was no longer my Ruby, her body became heavier.
I don’t know how this stuff works.
I’ll never forget her.