yesterday we said goodbye to simon; our boo, our captain, our elder statesmen. i have 13 years of memories of simon, 13 years of stories and countless hilarious episodes that i could impart here. i could tell you how smart he was or what an amazing first alert system he was and how seriously he took his job. i could fill the page telling you what a character he was. i could regurgitate all over you and still fail miserably in getting the essence of boo across. as i was sitting here thinking about how not to do that to you and still memorialize my amazing boo’s life in a measly blog post i had my aha moment., my “booment” if you will. it dawned on me that the thing that was so remarkable about boo and what i will miss the most but that which will also resonate with me forever was his utter unremarkableness.
first just a tiny bit of history: the first time we met 4-month-old simon was in a hell hole of a “shelter” where fortunately he had won the hearts of the shelter workers doing tricks for chex mix and then he was ours. the minute he walked into our house started the clock and for the next 13+ years he would be our constant.
boo was steady as a rock - he never did anything he didn’t always do, he didn’t try things out, he didn’t sometimes do something…he was a man of routine, a man you could count on. it’s funny how your soul seems to know things that your conscious never speaks of. until this moment i’ve never thought about boo like that but i realize inherently we knew. boo was a terrier through and through, including his coat. he was the 10th dog into our family but the first that needed serious grooming (with scissors and razors oh my). for whatever reason i didn’t think he would do well with a groomer so i took it upon myself to groom him (not well but together we always got the job done). i have no explanation for why that was my decision, he wasn’t scared of people or of going places, but it just seemed right. whatever the reason as i’m sitting here reflecting on the last 13 years it’s all coming together and it’s like i’m consciously seeing si for the first time. simon was not sick a day in his life until the last one, he didn’t spend a single hour outside our home except with us, other than his routine yearly check-ups he didn’t have a single vet visit until his last one. simon just was…and you could set your heart to that.
in his last few years he had developed seasonal allergies which mainly manifested in a cough. last month when i took him to the vet because it seemed like he had gotten old in the span of a few weeks and that damn cough had changed i knew when they took him back for chest xrays what the results would be. you know the crazy part of that day? when they walked him out of the room to take the xrays it was the first time he hadn’t been by my side outside our home. sure he’d gone places; petsmart, craft fairs, earth day’s, etc; but not without both dave & i right there by his side.
after that visit simon and i went home and i told dave and we cried…and then we put it out of our heads because as you would expect of simon it was as if nothing was wrong. there was seemingly nothing wrong for weeks until thurs night when there was something wrong and then friday morning when things were so wrong it was clearly time. we did what you do; we talked to the vet and made an appointment for that afternoon, we sat with him, we told him we loved him and how much we would miss him and we did what we could to prepare for that dreaded vet visit. but simon, oh our amazing simon, in all his infinite “booness” took matters into his own hands and slipped peacefully away in our home. at the time in the midst of my heartbreak i thought how fitting it was but i’m not sure i really knew why…just like when i decided to groom him. now i know…now i truly see the essence of boo. of course he wouldn’t leave, of course he would be the one we would bury here, of course he would be…he couldn’t do or be anything else. in the end i find it incredibly comforting and just right that we were the only ones to lay hands on him. we dug a hole - actually dave dug a hole and i kept dogs from getting hit by a pick ax (which is hard but not nearly as hard as digging a hole) - and we all said goodbye. he’s our touchstone, he’s our guide, he’s the one you turn to when you just need to feel steady and you just need things to be the way they are. he’s the one and he always will be. i know in years to come i will find myself out at his spot, just as i was this morning, because boo will always be my home. he will be what guides me and his unremarkableness is his mark on my heart.
the person i want to be doesn’t want to feel sorry for herself and doesn’t want to wallow in all the grief we’ve faced in the last few months. i know the person i am will but in those times i’m going to try to remember how lucky i am to have had my heart imprinted by the remarkable beings that have passed through my life. their physical bodies are short-lived but their mark lasts a lifetime.