Life does go on. I spent most of Wednesday feeling very, very sorry for myself, fighting off crying jags, and indulged in several huge guilt-fests. I keep thinking that no matter how much we spoiled Hank, there were times when I was not a very good pet owner, and he always deserved better than he got.

Before there was Hank, I was not a dog person. I was a cat person. We had a dog before Hank—Chip, who turned out to be part pit bull (we did not know this when we got her; we were told she was part spaniel and part lab), and who went pretty much nuts by the time she was 2 years old… we could not safely keep her, not with a 7 year old—and I loved that dog, but she didn’t turn me into a dog person.

Hank did—but for a long time I lacked the patience necessary to be a really good dog owner. And for that I feel guilty. And rightly so—pets don’t deserve our lack of patience. They deserve to be treated with dignity, and deserve our love.

But, I’m getting off track. Life goes on. Thursday we went to the mall and bought a nice frame and had his name engraved on it, and found a happy picture of Hank to put in it, along with a lock of his fur that the vet’s tech kindly trimmed for us (picture me sobbing my little head off, asking for some of his fur, and her actually understanding what I wanted.) It sits on the entertainment center next to a similar picture of our late cat Dusty, though she was always a little grumpy, so there weren’t really any “happy” pictures of her. We’ll be honest… Dusty could be a bitchy little thing, but that’s allowable when your heart is only working at 15% and you feel like crap all the time. We loved that cat as much as Hank. And I still miss her.

Since Wednesday, we’ve gone to a movie, gone fishing, and gone out to dinner. We’ve rearranged the living room so that the absence of Hank’s bed doesn’t seem so overwhelming. We’ve gone to the gym and worked out. We’ve vacuumed up most of the dog hair that covered our carpets and furniture like a fine mist most of the time—though we’re going to find dog hair on stuff for the next year, I’m sure.

We are okay with him being gone. I know we both miss him like crazy, and we talk about him a lot right now, but I remind myself we got through this with Dusty. And I keep reminding myself that Max, our PsychoKitty, is very young and it’s unlikely we’ll have to face this with him for a long, long time.

So. Today I am going to go get a haircut, hit the Y and swim, and then find other things to do while the Spouse Thingy works. It’s still strange to come home and not have this huge rust colored speed bump waiting by the front door to trip me up, but it’s okay.

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