Paul S. Gifford
LIFE LONG COMPANIONS
Recently I have been through the worst experience of my life; an experience that I wouldn’t want my worst enemy to go through. My wife left me and took the son I had adopted as my own with her. She also took a good deal of furniture and other belongings we had accumulated other the years. I was shocked. I never saw it coming. Sure we had had a few quarrels lately – but nothing worse than an average couple. The financial woes had bore a tremendous strain on us, but together we could survive it all I solemnly believed.
What she left behind were our dogs; Sir Winston and Chester. Now it is remarkable how in tune and sensitive dogs can be. The first night as I wept on the couch, bewildered and confused, they sat quietly near by with their tales down. I knew they understood that two key members of the pack were absent. I tried to maintain the usual routine over the last few days… which is hard when the person you planned to be by your side till death did us part was missing.
As a rule Winston sleeps under the marital bed and Winston by the open window on his bed. On the first night she wasn’t there – I placed Winston on her empty pillow; a pillow that still spelled provocatively of her scent. He was restless as he sniffed around. This wasn’t his spot – it was his mistresses surely she would be upset when she returned. He jumped off the bed and back to his usual position. So for the following two nights the same sleeping arrangements were maintained. A dog likes to know where it stands in the world and likes to have a routine. To be honest I barely have slept in the last four days. I simply lie there replaying memory after memory within my minds eye. Recollecting all of the special, loving moments we had shared. 7:00 A.M. would invariably arrive and I would take the dogs into the back garden as my morning coffee brewed. Each night I felt sure that I would sleep the next day – for how long could this routine persist? The second night I tried some sleeping aid – and still the restlessness continued. The next morning, at seven, the only difference was that I had an aching head.
Sleeping isn’t the only thing I have been depriving myself off as I have also lost all appetite. When I attempt to eat food would lodge in my throat and I would simply feel nauseous. I lost ten pounds in four days.
Well last night things were going to take on a slightly more pleasing situation. As we all rested in our designated spots I heard Winston barking. Thinking that he was in need of a late night restroom break, I escorted the two dogs outside. They ran around, looked bemused and after a few minutes of inactivity we returned back up the wooden hill.
An hour later the same incident repeated itself precisely. Winston was restless, and once more down the stairs and outside we went. Still nothing.
It was five – thirty this morning that it happened a third time. I looked at Winston and something clicked in my head. With a swoop of my arm I picked him up and placed him on Sarah’s pillow. He responded with a flurry of kisses then rolled on his back, nestled against my cheek and fell into a sleep. Shortly after I too must have fallen asleep as the next thing I knew it was nine o’clock! I looked at Winston who was peering at me through smiling eyes and gave his fuzzy head a good scratch.
“Good boy,” I said through a yawn.
Once more he attacked me with kisses.
I am a lot brighter today – and I feel we have a new family routine.
©Copyright August 2, 2009 by Paul S. Gifford