Should I even write this post?
I don’t want this blog to be a place where people come and feel sad, but let’s take a minute to feel sad, and I promise next week we’ll talk hard science fiction.
On Saturday, after a months-long struggle with a degenerative neurological condition, we were forced to say good-bye to our little pug, Bear, the best dog ever.
I was against getting a dog after the untimely death by accident of our last dog. I didn’t want to go through all that again, but then I was basically talked into it by my wife and kids, and when we drove down to Portland to pick up our new little pug puppy from the breeder, it was love at first sight.
Then came my time to say good-bye to the corporate office lifestyle in the summer of 2010 and embark into the rocky waters of self-employment.
Writers out there, let’s be honest. If all goes right, you’re looking to someday be able to quit your day job and write—or at least, as in my case, write and edit—full time. I have managed to get to that point, after years of struggle, and though I used to sometimes complain about the time he took from my day, now that I’m really all alone all day while my wife is at work and my kids are in school, I miss him.
Bear was the associate in Athans & Associates and though his contribution to the firm mostly consistent of either snoring or barking in the background of online client meetings, recordings, and interviews, now that I’m most of the way through the second work day without him, I realize just how much the two of us interacted over the course of an average day.
Though no pet can necessarily replace the human camaraderie, the teamwork that can make a huge task seem less daunting, and all those other things you give up when you decide to go it on your own, a dog can act as a sort of psychotherapist. I would bounce ideas off Bear. He would tilt his head at me in more or les the same way every time, but in the process, I was talking through things. And anyway, he was here—usually sleeping under my feet. There was another life moving through this space, and occasionally having to let him out in the backyard for a bathroom break kept me from getting hunched over and desk chair-bound.
I’ve told everybody that I want to wait until later in the spring to get a new dog, so the kids will be on summer vacation, at least, and I’ll have a little help in that work-intensive initial puppy stage, but I might be talked into accelerating that time table.
It’s just too quiet around here.