Be warned: This is a sad post. I’m sad. In fact, I’m devastated.
Saying goodbye to a loved one is never easy. That loved one being a fur baby does not lessen the pain. As I write this on Sunday, March 28, 2021, my best buddy, Taco the Chihuahua, passed away a few moments ago. I was holding him. We were snuggled together in my recliner while I wrote, and he was cozy in a blanket on my lap. That’s how much of my writing has been done for the past several years — with him on my lap or snuggled into my side. Taco demanded to be included in everything I did.
Taco was a rescue dog. He was found roaming the streets, cold and alone, in the city where my husband works. When no one came to claim him after the standard waiting period, my husband brought him home. His larger than life personality immediately captured my heart. He was my buddy and protector from the start. Any time someone raised their voice to me or made a large gesture that he thought might be threatening, he gave them what for. He barked, snarled, growled, and voiced his concern for my safety.
It didn’t take long for him to become my baby. I couldn’t help falling in love with him. He looked up at me with those big brown eyes and challenged me not to love him. When he wanted attention and I was busy doing something else, he’d jump in my lap and force his head beneath my hand. If I happened to be standing up when wanted attention, he’d stand on his hind legs and paw me with his font ones.
He was my side-kick for sure. I even took him on errands with me if I wasn’t leaving the car. He loved the bank, pharmacy, and Culver’s, but he hated the car wash. I’ll never forget the time I drove through the pharmacy to pick up my prescriptions and decided it was time to wash the street salt and grime from my car. I used the automatic bay. The moment the high pressure spray hit my car, Taco lost his mind. I think I still have a little hearing loss from the experience. I finally got him calmed down, and then the multi-colored soap foam came cascading down. He was not amused and let me know exactly how he felt.
I’m honestly not sure how many years Taco was part of my family. I’m estimating seven, and he was not a young dog when he came to live with us. In that time, he became so much more than just our dog. He became the center of our household. Every morning he and my husband had their routine. While my husband sipped coffee in his recliner, Taco insisted on lounging with him. He would park his rear-end up against Jim and face the door, guarding him. They would sit that way for a couple of hours while Jim prepared to face the day.
We all grieve in our own way. My husband wants to talk about it. I cry until I can’t breathe and then write about it. I don’t know why, but writing about my pain makes me feel better. It’s a coping mechanism one of my seventh grade teachers taught me, and it has always worked for me. I hope I can help Jim through his grief, but talking about Taco is difficult for me right now.
We’ll get through this, and we know that our little guy is in a much better place. He was sick for a long time with an enlarged heart. He won’t be coughing or feel bad anymore. We both take comfort in that.
May our fierce baby rest in peace.
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