The Old Man has been laid to rest under the tree. The Middle Girl doesn't seem to have noticed he's gone--or perhaps is secretly pleased--and the Annoying Fuzzy One is wandering around the house, slightly bewildered. Such a hole left when a dog goes away. What do we keep? What do we put away as a keepsake, too dear to throw out, but too raw to be left out in plain view? Do we save his bowl for a future pup? How do we discard it? How do we not notice it more for its absence?
I have lost my share of dogs over the years, but somehow have never been in the position of holding them in a vet's office, waiting for the needle. We lived in the sticks when I was a wee tad, and our beagles disappeared occasionally, likely stolen by somebody who wanted a new rabbit dog. Or maybe that's just what my dad would tell me. Maybe they got run over instead. When my parents split up and moved to different towns, and weren't able to take the dogs with them, we found farmers to take them in. And the dogs I had in high school died when I was away at college, and when I'd moved out on my own several hundred miles away.
I don't know that I could do it.