It has been less than a year since I lost Rascal, my 13 year old hound dog that was taken by complications coming from his diabetes.
My last remaining dog, Elvira, has been very sick for the last several months. Actually she was sick before that but you could not really tell. Her attitude never changed, even as her body betrayed her.
I broke my heart to see my happy-go-lucky friend trapped inside a body that was being slowly destroyed by cancer. Eventually all the good spirits in the world could no longer mask the fact that she was suffering. What hurt me worse was that there was not a damn thing her vet nor I could do to stop it.
Actually there was one thing I could do.
I could make sure she did not suffer anymore.
I made an appointment and took her in. After a consult with her vet we decided that it was time.
She looked up at me with those trusting black eyes as she laid her head in my lap and went to sleep.
That might explain some of what came after.
After it was all over, and I had calmed myself enough to sleep, I had a dream.
In this dream I sat in orange coveralls in the defendants chair of a courtroom.
I sat as the judge. I never saw through his eyes, but did not like the look in them.
I was also the prosecutor. Though I never spoke through him I did not like what he had to say about me.
The jury, the spectators, everyone else was but a blur.
The charges were read, I was accused as a serial killer.
Of ordering the deaths of Rascal and Elvira.
Prosecutor Brad proceeded to put me on the stand and grill me mercilessly, in a way only someone who can read your mind can.
It seemed to go on for days.
After I had spent what seemed like forever tearing myself a new ass on the stand I was released to go back to my seat.
I hung my head as the jury retired to decide my fate, the prosecutor had done such a good job even I would have voted guilty.
The jury was out for a long time, the whole time the faceless crowd was watching.
I could feel their anger, their disgust.
The jury came back and I was called to stand.
The verdict was read.
“Not Guilty, by reason of compassion.”
In surprise I snapped my head around and looked at the jury box.
There in the front row I could now make out two of the jurors.
There, amidst the blurred out jurors, sat Rascal and Elvira.
I shot awake to the sound of my alarm clock and sat staring into the darkness of my bedroom. Desperately grasping onto the dream as it slowly began to fray about the edges in that way that dreams seem to do when confronted by the wakeful part of the day.
Even now as it fades further and further away I can’t help but notice I do felt bit better. In a way far more sure of the decisions I had had to make.
The house though, the house feels empty even with the whole family there.