We were leaving the house last night when the brunette twin stopped at the garage door and looked behind it. She whispered something and then smiled. I said, "Were you talking to Oreo?" She said, "I told him to take care of the house, just like I always do when we leave."
I knew she was thinking a lot about her dog yesterday. We had a whole bunch of little girls over after school for an end-of-the-year party. The brunette twin walked around with his collar for a while. She wanted it close, as if it would keep him close to her. When she walked I heard his dog tags jingle together. I held my breath once because I thought I saw Oreo out of the corner of my eye. When I realized he wasn't coming back I cried a bit.
The blond twin stood by his grave yesterday afternoon and talked to him about her day. She cried a little as she talked about how much she missed him. She kept telling him how much she loved him.
It was all heartbreaking.
It has only been two days since Oreo died, so the shock is just wearing off. We're trying to figure out how it all works without him. I still feel like I should go for a walk every day at 8:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. This morning I went for an 8:00 a.m. walk to drop off some shoes their friend Amira left at our house. It was a route I walked often with Oreo.
Some of his stuff, like his water bowl and tie-up, have been moved. I can't bring myself to move his leashes yet. I know I'm not going to use them, but they've been hanging on the staircase post for nearly three years.
Today the girls decided to look at new dogs on a couple of animal shelter websites. They decided that Mommy wouldn't be so sad if we had a new dog. I told them Mommy wouldn't even talk about it until fall. It was just too soon.
As Daddy pointed out, I spent nearly every day of the last three years with Oreo. There really wasn't a moment of my day when he wasn't around, and that was ok. It's not a complaint as I knew what I was getting into when we adopted him. It's like my shadow has disappeared.
I have to stop thinking that he's just in another room. We all have to stop looking for him in the backyard. Twice yesterday the brunette twin stood at the patio door and said she thought she saw Oreo waiting to come in. Days have to pass when the bellowing, moaning sound he made just before he died leaves my thoughts. I have to be able to close my eyes and not see his face as his eyes turned red and he died. Until then, another dog isn't even something I can discuss.