The Hardest Day
I’ve been dreading writing this post for 14 years – almost to the day. Now that I have to do it, I think I’m just going to do it quickly, like ripping off a band aid, and not think too much about it. Apologies in advance.
From the minute we brought Rubin home as a puppy, I knew that one day we would lose him, and that that day would be one of the hardest ones I would ever have to live through. I know it probably sounds silly to a lot of you, but I would literally lie awake and worry about it, feeling almost as if there was some invisible clock counting down the days, the hours and the minutes – which I guess, in a way, there was.
Yesterday, that clock stopped.
Rubin’s health hadn’t been great for a few months now, but over the last couple of weeks, it started to go downhill horrifyingly fast. We’d been back and forth to the vet’s with him multiple times, and they’d given him various different pills and medications, none of which had made the slightest bit of difference, so when we took him in again on Friday morning, we were hoping for the best, but, in our hearts, we both knew he wouldn’t be coming home.
We knew this, but all the same, when the vet (Who’d kept him in for observation, and to run some tests) called a few hours later to let us know there was nothing more they could do, and that we should come down to say goodbye, we were absolutely shattered by it. I feel like I’ve been preparing for this for years now – and even more so over the last few months, when we knew time was running out – and yet I was totally unprepared for how it would feel to kiss his little fluffy white head for the very last time, and know I would never see my lovely little friend again.
We are both absolutely heartbroken.
We got Rubin just two months after we moved into our first house together. As well as being a huge part of our family, he was, as Terry commented yesterday, the metronome of our lives: every part of our day was structured around Rubin, or accompanied by Rubin, and now that he’s gone, we feel like we’ve lost much more than “just” a pet – we’ve lost a huge part of our lives, and ourselves, and it’s hard to imagine anything every feeling the same again right now. We have always been a threesome, and now that we’re just two, the house feels horribly quiet and empty, with memories lurking in every corner to leap out and break our hearts all over again.
Yesterday morning, I posted a photo of Instagram, to let my followers there know what was happening. It wasn’t a photo of Rubin: I couldn’t (and still can’t, hence the photo on the this post) bring myself to scroll through my camera roll and see his bright eyes looking back at me, while knowing I wouldn’t see them again. But after I posted it, it suddenly occurred to me that there will be other photos after that one: other days, weeks, months and years to fill – that we will spend more of our lives without him than we did with him. One day this will be something that happened many years ago, and it’s almost impossible for me to comprehend that our little Rubin will now just be a memory: that there will be no more photos, no more hugs, no sound of his feet running up the stairs to greet me in the morning. Already, the clock has had the temerity to move on without him: today was the first day in 14 years that we woke up in a world without him in it, and I feel almost offended that this could have been allowed to happen.
I know all of this will make very little sense to those of you who don’t love animals, or see them as part of the family (and if that’s you, I would respectfully ask you not comment to tell me that…), but I know a lot of my readers had come to know and love Rubin over the years I’ve been writing about him, and will understand all too well how Terry and I (and my parents, Terry’s mum, and everyone else who loved him…) are feeling right now, which is why I wanted to write this post, as hard as it’s been. I already had some posts scheduled for next week when this happened, and I’m just going to let them go up as planned (I know no one is expecting me to just keep churning out blog content right now: I just didn’t want you to see them go up and think I was totally heartless…), but it will obviously take us a long time to feel anything like “normal” again, so I hope you’ll bear with me in the meantime.
Finally, I’ve written this post in floods of tears, and I actually can’t bear the thought of reading back over it right now to check for typos, so I’m just going to hit publish and hope it’s at least somewhat legible. Thanks so much for reading…