Saturday, October 30, 2010

Remembering Cowboy

I dreamed about Cowboy last night.

I remembered instantly when I woke up—not one of those dreams that fades as soon as you open your eyes. I don't remember everything about the dream, but I remember Cowboy. I remember petting him, hugging him, lovin' on him. Sometimes the worst dreams aren't nightmares; the worst ones are the ones that leave you disappointed and heartbroken when you wake up.

I believe in doggy heaven. Maybe it's cheesy, but I don't care. I mean, I believe in heaven and I believe that my dog is there. I can't imagine a God who would create all things—all the animals, every breed of dog—who would not want his creatures in heaven, too. And I think sometimes dreams happen for a reason.

After I woke up, I decided to go back and re-read what I wrote when Cowboy died. Ironically, though it's been about three years, I still feel pretty much the same way I did then. He had a long life, but I wanted him around longer. I hate that I wasn't there when he died, and I'd give anything to have him back again.

When I got to the bottom of one of my posts, I saw the dates. The month and year we got him, and the month and year he left us.

We got him in October.

I don't think it's a coincidence that I dreamed about him last night. For me, he was an October baby. It's only fitting that he's on my mind so often lately. The same thing happens to me in February, the month Cowboy passed away. Sometimes when I think about him, the pain is just as raw as it was when I first  found out he was gone.

Cowboy was my childhood dog. I grew up with him. He was like my brother and my best friend all rolled up into one. It's not easy saying goodbye to someone—even a four-legged someone—that has been such a huge part of our lives. I know it wasn't easy for me.

They aren't new posts, but I wanted to post the links here to the two posts I've written previously about Cowboy. Kibble, as we often called him. He was an amazing dog, my best friend, and I think it only fitting, at least for me, to revisit these posts while he's on my mind.

The first is called, "Cowboy." It tells the story, briefly, of how we came to get Cowboy—where he came from, how he got his name, and a funny story or two about him. This was the first post I wrote after Cowboy died. There are a couple of pictures of my handsome man in this post.

The second is called, "Him's a Lover Poochie, Yes Hims Is!" As the post explains, the title comes from a Luann comic strip that my Mom found in the Sunday funnies, as we call them. Somehow it stuck, and we would say that to Cowboy all of the time. This I wrote a few months after Cowboy was gone. Even though it's been about three years, the emotions I was feeling when I wrote it still pretty much ring true. The pictures included in this post are some that I stumbled on after Cowboy died. My Dad had taken them, and I'd had no idea. It was like uncovering treasure, seeing these great pictures of my special little guy.

I don't think I'll ever really be done missing my dog. I think any pet lovers out there will understand where I'm coming from. They aren't people, but they become a part of the family. Cowboy certainly was a member of our family and a huge part of our lives. You can say goodbye a million times but it never really gets easier, it just gets...numb-er. I still look for him sometimes, when I'm not thinking about it. I'll walk by one of his favorite places to sleep and glance over, expecting him to still be there. Or I'll hear our other dog, Kelsi, barking outside. Sometimes she sounds so much like him, I feel like he's still out there patrolling our yard. Even just the other day, I was talking to my Mom on the phone and heard Kelsi bark. For a second or two, I honestly thought it was him. It took a minute for me to remember that it couldn't be.

I wish I could go back several Octobers, back to the October when we first got him. Even if just for a day. It would be worth it.

The hurt never goes away. It just gets buried.

I love you, Cowboy. And I still miss you.


Linda said...

I have a dog that looks like he could be a twin to your beloved Cowboy. He's getting up there in years--I suspect he's close to 10 (we got him from a shelter and they could only surmise his age at the time). But he's acting older and I know he probably doesn't have a lot of years left.

He's sweet. And good. And faithful. And loving. It will be sad when he's gone.

Your story was very bittersweet. Thanks for sharing.

thereadingbear said...

I read your story to my boyfriend who had almost the same experience. He tried not to cry. It's amazing how many people you can relate to when it comes to our four legged family members. :(

Sarah said...

@Linda—Give your dog a hug for me! Any dog that could be Cowboy's twin must be a great dog. :-)

And I hope he still has a good and happy few years left! It's never easy to watch them go. Thank you for the comment, I really appreciate it.

@thereadingbear—It really is! I find that pet owners and animal lovers almost always know exactly how I feel when I talk about missing past pets. I'm sorry your boyfriend had to go through it; it's never fun.

MissWoodhouse said...

:( Sorry you are missing your Cowboy. It's always hard to lose a pet. *hugs*