Friday, May 9, 2008

Love, Tahoe

Tahoe died.
He was fine and then he wasn’t. And then he was gone.
Joan Didion said that life changes in the ordinary instant. She was right.
The instant itself was almost ordinary. He howled twice (ordinary for him) and then he laid his head in my lap (ordinary for me) and then he died.
In an instant.
An instant that has changed every ordinary aspect of my life.
When I wake up, Tahoe is not here waiting for me for our morning romp in the yard.
When I write he is not here, curled on my feet, his soft ears near my knee where I can absently stroke him while I’m trying to shape words into something coherent, readable and hopefully poignant.
He is not here when I go to the grocery store to pick up milk and eggs and always a treat for my guy, who is always in the passenger seat, riding shotgun.
Tahoe is a front seat dog and even when mortally ill, would not tolerate the backseat.
He is not here for our nightly snuggle, the one that eases off the day’s tension, melts away any residual anger or hurt or angst that others have visited upon me, and more importantly, those that I have visited upon myself or others.
He’s gone.
I still can’t believe it.
For 15 years, he has been a part of my life. Of my heart. Of the essence of who I am, and who I mean to be.
As I wait for the vet to deliver his ashes, which I will keep on my desk, I have to remind myself not to keep glancing out the wide window, as I do every fifteen minutes, where he is not patrolling the backyard, his beautiful face pointed to the sky, sniffing for the neighborhood news he always found in the wind.
He is gone.
And if he is gone, why do I still feel his presence?
Why do I still feel those soft ears that I stroked a thousand times a day? A phantom pain from a part of me that’s been ripped away. In Joan Didion's instant.
It's all those instants--those ordinary instants--that get me when I least expect it.
The instant when I brought his tiny, flea-ridden, coccidia-infected, fuzzy body to the man who would become his vet.
With his little puppy teeth, Tahoe bit him. Hard.
At the instant of fresh pinpricks of blood, Dr. Pete informed me that Tahoe would never be a good pet, and his breed were generally not good dogs.
He was right.
Tahoe was never a very good pet.
And he wasn’t much of a dog.
But he was a hell of a friend.

6 comments:

McGirl said...

Kit, I'm so sorry to hear about Tahoe. It's been years since I lost the doggie companion of my heart, Angel, and I still dream about her and feel her presence around me often. As I write this I'm crying for her all over again, and for Tahoe, and you. My sincere condolences. Michelle

Kit Frazier said...

Thank you Michelle. It's so hard to lose part of your life, and I'm sorry to hear about your angel, Angel. Wishing you cold doggy noses in your future...
Kit

Lexi said...

Kit, I'm so sorry for your loss!

Kit Frazier said...

Thanks, Lex. It just sucks.
Kit

Catherine Avril Morris said...

Well, you don't have to worry about writing poignant words. I could hardly read this post for the tears in my eyes. Sweet Tahoe. I'll miss him, too, and I've never even met him.

Kit Frazier said...

Thanks, Catherine. That was sweet :)

Barnes & Noble Round Rock Signing

Barnes & Noble Round Rock Signing
My friend Pantera with Tahoe & Me

Tahoe and a new friend at the signing