Last week, around this time, I was crying my eyes out, unable to fall asleep because I'd have to wake up the next morning to say my final goodbyes to you.
You left us on the exact two month anniversary of the day we collected the keys to our new home. When put like that, my heart almost breaks into two. If only we'd known.
Two months ago, on that day, your parents came over to ours for one last meal together in that home (Five Guys burgers and milkshakes - the same meal they had the day they lost you). They didn't bring you with them that time because our home was so full of boxes, you would have hated it. I almost wrote now that we should have come to you instead but that would have been impractical. We had movers coming first thing the next morning. We had to be home to finish last-minute packing.
What I'm trying to say is, right now, I'm thinking back to every lost opportunity in the past few months where we could have hung out with you but didn't. COVID didn't help either, of course, but you know what? Every one of those times, you were comfortable and warm and not exerting your poor hind legs and most importantly, you were insanely loved. Whether we were all in the same room with you at all times or not, you were loved. Constantly.
I dreamt about you last night. Didn't sleep too well but it wasn't miserable because you kept me company. Can't remember exactly what the dreams were about but in one of them, a man I work with whom I've spoken to once, maybe twice, got on a call with me and shared his thoughts on losing you. It was bizarre but I wasn't too surprised. I knew that if he'd met you even in passing, he'd remember you fondly. Very few dogs are as amazing as you are, after all.
I don't believe in a lot of woo-woo stuff but I've called dibs on you, Kasha. The next time you return to earth in human or dog form (those are your only two choices, pup, so don't mess up and show up as a Sphynx cat), I know we'll find each other. And I will love you even more although it's hard to believe that's even possible.
I've realised recently that I've been grieving you for a while now. It was wonderful to be living across the street from you guys, casually bringing you back home with us to spend a weekend together, showing up at each others' doorsteps to cure hangovers, and meeting up every few days over food, drinks, silly movies, kuddles and board games. From the minute we knew we were leaving that neighbourhood, I started grieving what we had for the past two years. This grief grew stronger when I realised your parents will be moving to faraway Cardiff with you soon. It hit me like a brick to the face when I had to say goodbye to you forever last week. And now, I'm grieving your entire family.
You were the strongest glue our friendship could have asked for so I'm sure we'll be in touch even when separated by ~300 miles of British landmass (your mum and I still workout together every other weekday morning) but I don't think I'm handling it very well. They're some of our closest friends and we wish we could live across the street from them forever! I wish they'd be around to bond with and love our future dog the way we loved you.
I wish we were all dogs in the wild. We would have done whatever the fuck we wanted (like you did when left unsupervised on our balcony that one time). We wouldn't have had to worry about our jobs, finances, career progression, mortgages etc. Our pack would never have been separated.
But we're humans. We work. We kinda love our jobs (sometimes) and we don't always get what we want. But we can get you everything you want. Or at least what we think you want. Which is first and foremost, discipline. And maybe the occasional treat ;)
Your parents have been the best teachers of dog-parenting we've ever met in our lives. Did you know that your dad trained a batshit puppy at a resort we were staying at in India to sit and be adorable in just one night? Possibly in one hour for all I know.
We're going to follow all the advice they've given us over the years to teach our own dog to heel and ask for permission before getting on furniture if we can. But if our dog turns out to be dumb as fuck, Kasha, I promise you, I will turn into that typical Indian mom and tell him or her how much better you were at everything. Even when he/she is fourteen and a half years old with hip dysplasia just like you, I will say, "Kasha's back leg muscles had atrophied better than that". You will literally be the mythical kid next door that scored better marks at everything than our idiot dog. And that way, you will maybe someday, help me fulfil my destiny and make generations of Indian mothers before me quite proud.
I love you forever, my dear puppy! You're my number one girl <3
(Go get Shane!)