I guess I am doing as well as can be expected with the loss of my Koolit. I really didn’t expect it to hit me so hard. I’ve never been one of those people who takes my dog everywhere I go. I never even wanted a dog, except Kurt did. He had two goals when he first moved to southern Virginia in 2000 — he wanted his own apartment (ie, no roommates), and he wanted a dog.
At least he got one of his wishes. I sort of ruined his first wish when I moved in a year and a half later.
He picked Koolit because he was twenty pounds, the limit imposed by his apartment complex. Koolit was the only dog that small at the Norfolk SPCA, and he was being kept in the cat room because he barked too much in the dog room. He’d also worn a little patch through on his nose because he absolutely hated being caged. How could we leave him behind at that point?
We took him down to the Atlantic Ocean down at Virginia Beach, thinking he’d be like all other dogs we’d known who loved the water. Koolit wanted nothing to do with it, and usually shook in fear with every bath we gave him. I guess it’s a bit cruel that his ashes have been spread over Narragansett Bay, since he was so afraid of water, but it gives me a little bit of peace. I couldn’t think of a more soothing and beautiful place to be laid to rest.
It’s just so weird to have him gone. We told Grace that he’s never coming home, that he’s going up to heaven. I don’t know if she understands the concept of “heaven,” but she hasn’t asked where he is. She just knows he’s gone. Sometimes she gets a little sad and I make sure she gets some extra cuddles. Every so often, something reminds me of him and I get a bit teary. But I hold it together till Kurt comes home and then I get hugs of my own. It helps.
And now I’ve gotten more sad news. As I’m sure you’ve already heard, our dear Cosmic has passed away. I only met her the one time, but she was so full of life and energy and laughter. She kept me in stitches the whole time we were there. Grace absolutely loved her and couldn’t get enough of dancing with her husband Terry.
She’s not exactly smiling in this photo, but it was probably the only few moments of that entire afternoon that she wasn’t smiling. By the time we left her house, my cheeks hurt from all the grinning and laughing we’d done.
Over the next few weeks we exchanged a few more emails. That’s how I found out that she’s got a sister named Carol, while I have a sister whose first name is Karyn. Karyn and Karyl, or Carol and Karen — how cool is that? We went back and forth emailing about our names, and how we got them, and how both our families include light people and dark people.
I always intended to go back this summer. She told me it’d be better if I waited till she moved into her new place, so she would have more room to offer her guests. But now it’s too late.
At least now she is free of pain and medicine and her oxygen tank. And as Terri T. pointed out, Karen is probably snuggled up to Koolit now, giving him all the love and hugs I wish I could be giving him. I’m sure she’ll take excellent care of him till I can join them.
Goodbye, Karen. We love you, and we miss you terribly.