Artemis Comes Home

Artemis is to be cremated today and finally gets to come home to rest. Hard to believe she’s gone. I still get kinda weepy whenever I think about her and I know the pain that Don and Jean and Linda must be feeling today. I wish I could do something.

Because I’ve been there before. Sugar, my little adorable mutt, was shot in the leg by some asshole when we were taking one of our usual walks in the woods behind our house in the country east of Duncan when I was 13. We took her to the vet, but short of major surgery (with no guarantee she could walk again) and expense (which we didn’t have), there was nothing that could be done. She had to be put down. I bawled and squalled and left her lying there so the vet could do the deed. Truly one of the worst experiences of my life. It still has the power to hurt me some 27 years later.

Losing Artemis is certainly worse. Just as losing Bayley will be. Unlike Sugar, he came to me as a puppy of just seven weeks old and we’ve shared close quarters ever since. With the exception of my travels (the longest of which was two weeks), we’ve spent every day of almost 10 years together. Don had the same thing with Artemis over 14 years. Sugar came to me as a mutt and I had her maybe two years or so. Losing Artemis is so much worse, almost like losing a child.

Dog non-lovers, like my family, will never, ever understand it, even as they condescendingly dismiss it or lash out at it. Yes, they are ‘just’ dogs, but they’re also so much more than that. And until you’ve experienced that unconditional love and support and dependence and trust, you have no right to talk.

I suppose the deed must done by now and she’s safely back home. I can’t believe she’s gone. Beagles are getting extra hugs today.