As I mentioned a couple posts ago, I lost my beloved little dog Simon a week ago last Saturday. He was eleven and a half years old, as far as I know, and he was a corgi-american esquimo mix, as far as I know. I adopted him when he was about a year and a half in April of 1997, so we spent a little more than ten years together. He was my constant companion, through road trips to California, to life-changing cross-country moves, unemployment, over-employment, bad boyfriends, good boyfriends, Simon was always with me.
He was a funny little dog, my brother still refers to him as the gerbil. He was one of those dogs whose behaviors are more “foxy” or even cat-like. He was affectionate and sweet, but very self-contained. If was in trouble he wouldn’t slink or show submission, he’d just kind of eyeball me. As soon as I broke eye contact, he’d be right back to jumping around in circles. I though I’d mastered the art of repressing, but Simon had it all over me. Simon was a really good dog though, so there wasn’t much cause for yelling. Other than occasional trashcan dumping or kleenex chewing, he was amazingly low maintenance. But he was really good company.
I always had a clear impression that Simon thought he was much larger, and much more butch and masculine dog than the reality (a precious little fluffy girl dog). He loved to romp with big dogs, and despised being picked up. He enjoyed a good cat-barking-at, although he did get his ass seriously kicked by one once. After that, he kept his distance for the barking. Once, we were coming up the stairs in my apartment building, and there was a cat lurking on the other side of the rail. Simon darted around to chase it, but when it didn’t retreat, he came back around to the other side of the rail and barked at it through the bars. That was my Simon.
We spent our first summer together at my parents house while my boyfriend at the time was away on an internship. My parents had just gotten Amber, a sumo-big golden retriever puppy. While she lumbered around, Simon would dart in and out, baring his teeth and sneezing ferociously. Yes, sneezing. It was one of those things. Amber would generally respond by drooling all over him, leading to Shaun’s next nickname for him, “Slime-on”.
I have hundreds of stories, all of which are utterly entertaining and riveting to me, and maybe a select few other insane dog people. But here’s the gist. Simon was a light in my life when everything else was dark, or worse, when it was utterly cold and gray. And he was there with me sharing my joy when I was happy and content. He never ran out of love, or silliness, or affection. I wish I had given him a fraction of what he gave me, and I would do anything to have back all the moments when I took him for granted.
I think one of the great tragedies of death is the surplus of love we’re left with. When you really love someone, it doesn’t matter that they’re not there anymore to receive it. So I’m left with all this unspent love for my little companion, and it just aches. Beyond the shock of losing him so quickly, beyond the daily pain of having to re-learn how sit at my computer without him pressed against my leg, or lie in shavasana after yoga without him lying next to me licking my arm, or putting on my tennis shoes without him going apeshit because it means there’s a remote possibility that he’s getting a walk, there’s just this irrational, impossible desire to have him back long enough to give him some of the vast amounts of love that will forever remain unspent.
Be at peace, petite chien. You are loved.