This coming Saturday will be the end of our second month and the beginning of the third one without our sweet Callie.
Someone told me recently that it doesn’t get easier, just different. That’s true. Saying “good-bye” to her back in August was anything but easy. BUT learning to live without her sweet presence has been hell on earth. I can’t even count any more the number of times I’ve dissolved into a puddle of tears. Or how many times Shadow has looked for her older sister and ended up letting out a long, sad sigh when she couldn’t find her. Or how many times hubby has said “our Callie was taken from us way too soon” (or different words/same meaning).
Still, this past week and weekend was somewhat different. I was able to tell a few people about Callie’s going to Heaven without having to swallow hard on those tears. And I could laugh and smile at the memory of Ducky trying to hump Callie’s rear leg while Callie was napping on the dog bed in front of the TV. Or, at the memory of the countless times and ways Callie “took care of” her sister Shadow.
Shadow had some milestones of her own, too. She didn’t look for Callie as much as she had been. And the few times she did look, she seemed to accept the disappointment a little better.
And at bedtime, instead of sleeping with her head in the opposite direction of how she used to sleep when snuggled near Callie, she curled up on the one dog bed as though Callie were on the other dog bed facing her. Heck, maybe Callie WAS there with her. Just because I didn’t see her doesn’t mean Shadow didn’t see or feel her sister’s spirit trying to comfort her.
Since Callie’s second ACL surgery last year – right around this time of the year, too – she had not been as confident in her ability to jump up on things like the bed, the couch or chairs, or even the groomer’s table (which in its lowest position is only 2-3 inches off the floor). About the only time she jumped up on the bed was during a thunderstorm. Her fear of the storms were stronger than her fear of hurting herself again, I guess.
But I digress. When Callie stopped jumping up on the bed, so did Shadow. Shadow just wanted to be closer to her big sister than to me. (What an ego crusher! Lol). Now, granted it has been a long, hot summer; but we do have central air and it was on constantly until this past week…
Saturday morning, and again this morning, Shadow jumped up on the bed and snuggled with me for about 30 minutes before deciding it was time to go outside for her morning “constitutional”.
But the best milestone of all – in my humble opinion at least – is that Shadow has been wagging her tail more often, more readily. She is becoming her happy self again. And she is play-bowing and play barking at Ducky again. She hadn’t done that since Callie got sick.
Lest I leave out Ducky’s milestones, she has been more like the lovable brat she was when Callie was healthy. For a while she had given Shadow a break. Now, though, she’s giving Shadow the “stink eye” again when she notices that Shadow has a toy she wants for herself. And she started an argument with Shadow over an area of the back fence where a chipmunk or squirrel was hiding from Godonlyknows what. So Ducky has adapted to life without Callie fairly easily and quickly. But Ducky is, well, Ducky. She also has her friends at daycare to help her stay in the moment.