I’m visiting my mother this weekend and from the instant I woke up this morning, my eyes have been searing. I shouldn’t have slept in my contacts, but I do that a lot. With every blink of my eyelids, I felt fire. I couldn’t figure out what I had done to make my retinas hate me until I glanced at my mom’s computer screen and saw her picture. Then the memory of last night came flooding back to me.
The rest of the house was asleep when, on my way to bed, my mom’s computer screen lit up illuminating the picture of Holly on her desktop. We put Holly down January 27 and I miss her more than I ever thought possible for a dog. She was with our family for 12 years, but two years ago she became my constant companion after an altercation with another dog got her kicked out of my parents’ high rise.
She went absolutely everywhere with me. To work, the grocery store, road trips…other than going out with my friends, she was almost always with me. If I wanted to lay in bed until noon, so did she. If I wanted to sit on the couch and watch movies, she would, too. She’d even mastered the art of eating the chicken from my not-spicy pad thai from the chopsticks. She wouldn’t have left my side willingly for a box of live rabbits. Holly was, by far, the most loving and affectionate animal I’ve ever encountered in my life and not a day goes by that I don’t long for one of her hugs or wake up wishing I could see her nose sticking out from under the blankets.
She had a personality unlike any other pet I’ve ever had. She wasn’t a people person and she wasn’t a dog person, either. She was smart, neurotic and ridiculously loyal. She’d never have backed down from a threat, but if I walked her into a peaceful crowd, she’d be clawing at my knees to pick her up.
I have a hard time expressing emotions that I think exhibit weakness in myself. Sorrow is one of those. However, last night in the quiet of my mother’s home, I laid down and sobbed until I couldn’t breathe. I cried myself to sleep like child and hoped that in the stillness of the night I might see her in my dreams.