Monday, November 16, 2009

This morning my heart feels swollen and sore. It has been another long and sleepless night.

I started Giant Butters as a way to document my life in nursing school, which is a different approach from my other blog, which was generally less personal and more funny. I don't want it to be a platform to complain - that's boring and nobody (all 5 people that read this) wants to read about that - but at the same time I'm trying to be true to myself so that I'm presenting a real picture of what's going on in my life.

Yesterday my dog died. And I'm feeling incredibly sad about it. A lot of people don't know that I had a dog, and the truth is I haven't been with her for about 4 years. I kind-of "lost her in the divorce" when I broke up with my ex and moved back to Chicago. Although I loved her and we had a great connection, it was the best decision, despite the fact that it caused me a lot of pain. I still remember the last time I saw her, when I said goodbye to her and cried when the car drove away, her in the backseat looking at me.

I keep a photo of her near my bed and think about her everyday. Back then I never thought I'd never see her again, because I thought at some point when my life was more stable that I'd get her back. Even when she got sick a few months ago, I thought that maybe with a surgery and some medications we could keep the cancer at bay at least long enough for me to somehow get back into her life, but that didn't happen.

And I hate that that never happened and I have a lot of guilt over it. I hate the fact that I wasn't in her life these last few years, and that I wasn't there in the end. But she's had a good life since we said goodbye, living with a great caring dad and another dog to keep her company up until the moment she died.

For the last 15 hours it has been hard to think of anything else. I tried studying last night, but couldn't focus. I took a shower (and sobbed) and didn't want to be in my apartment so went for a walk. I felt somewhat hungry so I went to Target (of all places), thinking I could get something to buy for dinner. I thought the bright lights and people would at least provide a distraction for awhile (I broke down a but in there, too). I walked through the aisles in a daze, staring at the food and Christmas decorations before deciding I needed to go somewhere else and clear my head.

It was a beautiful and unusually warm night so I walked all the way down to DuPont Circle. I sat down on a bench and started crying again. I wanted to call people but also knew I couldn't have a good conversation with anyone in the state I was in, so I put the phone away.

I came home around 10, feeling exhausted. I did manage to study a bit, but in the end watched a movie just to stay distracted. I fell asleep around midnight, but woke back up around 2:30 then again around 4:30, so I just got up around 5 and came to school, which is where I am now, sitting in the cafeteria drinking coffee.

It's hard to write about how much I loved and miss my dog without sounding trite, so I won't try. I know she was happy, and didn't suffer she when passed and I guess there's comfort in that.


  1. What kind of dog was she? It absolutely sucks losing a pet and I dread the day I have to deal with it. I'm really sorry. It sounds like she had a good life though, and I give you credit for doing what must have been so hard and letting her go 'in the divorce' because you thought it was best for her. I don't think I could have done that... It's going to take time to get over it, just try to be good to yourself!!

  2. How sad! Sorry to hear that, Butters. You sound like a good dog owner, and I'm sure there will be lucky dogs down the line for you. Did you ever go to Let's Pet Puppies when you lived in Chi?

  3. Oh my this is some very serious sadness here. It's ok to be very very sad about this. You should be very sad. But remember, if you love something you let it go and you let the puppster have a very good and happy life - one that maybe you couldn't give her. You did something very sacrificing for her and you have to believe that in her little doggy way she is thankful for that. I am sure she is.