Farewell to our big, sweet boy
It’s been a tear-filled two weeks in our home. On Friday, September 22, Aaron and I had to say goodbye to Watson: guardian of the treat closet, unapologetic bed hog, peanut butter connoisseur, reluctant nose booper, grumpy observer of backyard rabbits, drool factory, 110 pound couch potato.
Readers met Watson on page 318 of Marcel’s Letters. At that point he was a tiny, roly-poly nameless ball of black fuzz. Why was he nameless in the book? Read this blog.
Aaron and I learned early on that Watson had a tender heart. We could not yell at him; he’d wither under criticism. We learned this when he was just a few months old, and after doing something wrong (I forget what it was, to be honest) we couldn’t find him. We finally discovered he had crawled into the bathtub and was hiding behind the shower curtain. It was as though he was anticipating a scolding. It was a revelation for us, and after that we tried to redirect him without raising our voices. He was a gentle soul in a big body, and he tried so very hard to be a good boy.
In fact one of my favorite things to do was to whisper, “who’s my good boy?” when he’d be nearby. By all appearances he could be deep asleep when I’d whisper that, but inevitably his tail would start sweeping back and forth.
Watson had a complicated medical life. He was just over a year old when he had his first grand mal seizure. Over the following eight years we’d witness 145 more. He was on four different medications to help keep the seizures at bay. If he went a month or two between seizures we knew we’d had a good run.
A downside to taking such high doses, though, is that the meds took a toll on his system. We’ve always known he wouldn’t be with us as long as he should have been, so we gave him big love while we could.
Aaron and I still have moments where we’re overcome with tears, and we’re getting used to a home without his presence. But we’re not there yet. We still catch ourselves looking for him or wondering why he isn’t lurking nearby. I’ve overslept a couple of times these last two weeks. It’s something Watson wouldn’t allow; five minutes after the alarm went off he’d be licking my ear to nudge me to get up. After I got up, he’d look at me with wide, innocent eyes as if to say: “Oh look, you’re up! What a coincidence! It just so happens to be time for breakfast!”
We know losing a pet is all part of loving a pet. Someday the loss won’t sting as much as it does right now.
But we’re not there yet.