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Moving On

This has been a devastatingly sad week for Jack and me. Our big, beautiful, loving Goldendoodle, Kanga, is no longer with us. He died May 21 after 13 years of giving with all his heart. I feel lost without him. Just a few minutes ago I was sitting at my table at my computer and heard a sound behind me, I turned around thinking I’d see him there only to abruptly realize that he was gone. It was like an awful joke had been played on me by his death. No more furry nose pushing the bathroom door open slowly while I’m getting dressed in the morning, those big brown eyes imploring me, “When are you coming out, Mommy?”

When we walked out of our apartment building with him, people who didn’t know us knew Kanga. They gathered around him like he was a rock star. Kids, adults, people with disabilities wanted to sink their hands in his soft white fur and ask about him. It was that fur, and his loving patience that attracted strangers. On our way outside today Jack said, “I feel so ordinary without him.”

My older son, Stephen, and his wife, Kimberly sent a lovely bouquet of flowers with a card that I still carry with me. His groomer sent another gorgeous white arrangement. The flowers sit next to a beautiful cedar box that holds his ashes on a pedestal under the formal portrait of Kanga that I gave to Jack one winter as a gift. He looks elegant and proud, posing for the camera. We still have his bed and his blanket spread out on the living room floor during the day. Jack moves his blanket to the bedroom at night when we go to sleep. He isn’t ready to give up the routine yet. It has been a week since Kanga died, and I didn’t know we had so many tears in us.

Those of you who have lost a beloved pet know the awful emptiness that fills your days after he’s gone. Visits and conversations friends, emails of condolence help. We spend hours flipping through photographs of Kanga from the days when he was a tiny spitdrop of a pup to those of him grown into a large white regal presence whose only wish was to please us.

You may remember from earlier entries on this blog that we have agonized over how to get Kanga to Mexico on July 14th when we leave. Should we rent a car, drive six days to the border and have Rafa pick us up in Laredo and then take us the rest of the nine hours to San Miguel? Or should we try to skirt around the airline regulations as some people have coached us to do, and take him on the plane with us and fly? Now the decision has been taken out of our hands.

We will be meeting San Miguel de Allende on our own. No soft white cloud to wander the streets by our side. But even if we stayed in our apartment in Rockville at the town square right where we have lived for the past four years, or moved back to our log house on six acres on Gambrill Park Road outside of Frederick Maryland, no place will feel ever like home as it did when Kanga was with us.

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