I wrote Eddie a song when he got sick. I listen to it sometimes, remembering he was right there when I wrote it.
I wrote Eddie a poem as well, something about his deep brown eyes.
I had him 15 years and one month, almost to the day. He was a beautiful Austrailian Shepherd/Border Collie mix. There was no other dog like him. Other dog owners would stop me in the dog park and comment on just how beautiful he was. They didn’t have to do that, but they wanted to. I always hoped we matched, like some people that look just like their dogs, and I would ask my fiance if I looked like Eddie. He would always say no, not really understanding why I wanted to look like my dog.
I wouldn’t know how to begin the story of his life. I got him at 3 months old when I was 16. He was at the North Shore Animal League in Long Island, with Kennel cough, on medication. I walked into the back room, where the sick puppies were, and he was in the first cage to my right. He was so beautiful. Tiny. Lovable. He came to the side of the cage and pawed at me. I pet him a moment and then looked at the other dogs. But everywhere I went in that room, that little dog followed, pushing himself as close to the side of his cage where ever I stood. He chose me.
He chose to change my life, rather than me changing his. I can only hope he knew as much joy when he was with me that I did when I was with him.
He had my personality. High maintenance in a lot of ways. Pushy. Stubborn. He was a bad boy, but telling him that only made him turn on the charm, and he weaseled out of everything he knew he shouldn’t do. A lot like me.
He was so incredibly smart. He acted like we did, he knew what was going on all the time, he understand over 100 words. I wrote them all down one day. He hated my suitcase and loved his leash. God help you if you didn’t feel like walking him. He would stand in front of you, ears up, and BARK like a crazy person LOL shaking his non-existent tail. The nubber, as we called it.
He was healthy for 14 and a half years and sick for the last several months of his life. Everything went wrong, he was just old. I tried to save him, I tried to turn back the clock, I did everything the vets said, but I knew the day would come. It was coming closer every hour and I had to face it. I couldn’t watch him deteriorate so badly. So the day came. The day before Thanksgiving. Less than 1 year ago.
I held him, on the blanket, they gave him 2 injections. I held him so tight so his spirit would pass through me on its way out. I hope that it did, because I felt nothing. Nothing. But. Sadness. We arranged to have him cremated and mailed back to us. I made it through Thanksgiving like a machine, but it was good to have my family. We talked about Eddie a lot. The next day I was overwhelmed by the thought of not knowing where my baby was. Where was my Boo? As I called him. I called the vet in Brooklyn and asked if he was still there. He was. I called the place they were going to send him and arranged to be there for the cremation. I need to see him, I need closure, and I need to bring him home.
Sparing no details, I watched them place my Boo into the incinerator. I stood there, motionless, expressionless and emotionless for 3 hours and waited. I wanted to know it was him they would give me. My fiance didn’t go with me, my mother did. He said I was crazy to put myself through that, and he was so broken over losing Eddie that I couldn’t ask this of him. But my mother understood, and stayed with me, and Boo.
I feel terrible about it, months later life has gone on without him and I don’t want it to. I don’t want the world to be without him. I don’t want people to not meet him. He was such an angel, a blessing, that everyone loved him. Everyone knew him! For 15 years of my life I would hear, ‘How’s Eddie?’ Like he was a person. They KNEW how important he was to me. But did he know? Because that’s what occupies my mind now.
His bowls used to be next to the book shelves in the dining room. My mother has now converted it to a painting corner, by the window, so she has natural light. When Eddie couldn’t do stairs anymore, we moved his bed into the living room, right in front of the TV so I guess he thought we gathered around on the couch to watch him and he loved that, he was a prince, and a bit snobby. Now there’s nothing in front of the TV. But his collar is under the end table on a small stool, where I can see it from the couch. That’s what I have. His ashes are in a bronze colored urn on the side table with a picture of us propped in front. It’s all I have.
I guess I am still deep into the grieving process. I haven’t made peace with it, but this opportunity to share my life with Eddie here has probably helped more than I realize. To verbalize it, or at least write it, proves that it happened. Proves he was here.