A year ago today, I lost my sweet puppyman, just hours before my long-awaited, impending move to Nashville.
The day was hyperemotional anyway, due to it being my last day at the job I loved, alongside the people I loved more. I cried on the entire drive home, but perked up upon arriving home to my puppies. I spent just a handful of minutes with them before escorting them outside to do their thing. Instantly, Milo caught glimpse of a bug, a bird, something--and bolted for the street... something he'd never done before. Within just a couple of seconds, he was hit by an older model pickup truck going way too fast down the normally-quiet side road. The driver never even hit their brakes.
Thank God Sean was in town, I don't know how I would have stomached the next several hours. He scooped my baby off the rough street and carried his lifeless body over to me, crumbled in my front yard. He cried with me as he called my dad to tell him what had just happened. My sweet dad and brother dug a hole for me to bury my sweet boy before we had arrived to my childhood home. My parents cried with us as I said goodbye to Milo forever, and to them for a few months. Not the ideal farewell.
I see the image of his last seconds on earth replay in my mind a lot. Several times a week. I hate it--I want to be flooded with memories of his early puppy days, his scrappy little attitude, the adorably sweet way he nuzzled up to me at night. Most of my thoughts are of happier times, but I am still sick over the way he left me. I hate so much that I wasn't more aware, that I was naive and overly comfortable with my little yard on the corner lot. I have done the "...if only..." game about a thousand times in the past year.
He was the sweetest thing imaginable--all puppy, all boy, a fuzzy ball of constant love and companionship. Perpetually curious, and he always had to be in my lap. On long roadtrips, he would curl up in my lap and just sleep... hours at a time. Spastic Maizie has to be on high alert, taking in every ounce of her surroundings, but not Milo Bear. He'd konk out on my thighs, ever-trusting and as cozy as could be.
Every morning as I left for work, he'd perch in one of my front windows, and watch my car as it pulled out of my driveway and until it faded away down the street. When I showered, he'd ball up on my bathroom rug, patiently awaiting my emerging from the steam so he could rush over to lap up the beads of moisture on my ankles. The way he and Maizie played together made me light up from the inside. They were hilarious together.
I miss him every single day. Despite the fact that I had him with me for a measly seven months, I felt I had a lifetime with him. I've been without him longer than I had him, and yet his absence still leaves a gnawing hole within me. Nashville isn't the same without him either.
For many of us, pets leave this indelible mark on us forever. The term "pets" is even laughable--they truly are family. They're always there--always there when we need them, never asking much outside of some dry food and shelter. The exchange of what they require for what we receive in return is incredibly out of proportion. It's truly one of the best deals man has ever happened upon.
Milo definitely made his mark.
I miss you always, sweet Milo Bear. I'll see you soon.