To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die... Eccles. 3.1
I had to say goodbye to my best friend yesterday. She'd been in my life for 11 years.
Life was kind of shitty when we first met. I was going through college, carrying out someone else's idea of my life. I'm not too sure how my sister and I finally swung it - but the parentals had finally agreed to let us have a pet dog.
Mum and I rushed to the pet store this Friday afternoon. I could even tell you what I was wearing, as if that mattered. There were a couple of different kinds of puppies for sale. In one enclosure sat a white, fluffy, delicate little thing, and next to that there was a shy, fuzzy, brown bundle we deemed most likely to be loved by Dad.
She was so small, you could comfortably hold her in one hand - soft and lively, delicate in her own kind of way. I wish I could tell you about the ride home with our new puppy. I wish I had been smart enough to soak those minutes in so that I could recall them in full-colour-high-definition now. I suppose I was just too excited to be going home with our special little bundle.
We thought about names overnight, made lists, but nothing stuck. I remember 'Tess' was on the list (as I recall, "Mcleods Daughters" was popular with us girls at the time) along with many other possibilities.
Saturday morning came, and I had to go to my crappy part time job, a place where you weren't allowed to call the boss by his first name. He was a naughty boy stuck in a bearded mans body.
I finished work, slipped off my wretched shoes and found she had a name: "Bonnie".
Bonnie was so small, she got lost in vastness of our backyard. As a young pup, she took pleasure in bathing herself in her giant water bowl, and rubbing herself all over the green lawn. As she grew, she loved to play - she got big enough to enjoy the toys we'd brought her, when really revved up, she would run in circles, huffing in excitement with her tail tucked under as if conforming herself to a more aerodynamic shape.
But, she had little frailty's too. She became nippy, and at times short tempered, especially after we had her spayed. We'd wondered if abuse was in her past. She wasn't great with new people, tall people, or people with booming voices - she would crawl with her tail sideways, and urinate if they reached out to pat her. Poor Bonnie, she was a bit damaged, like me - and that somehow made her even more special.
She'd bark when the roller door opened, and when the doorbell rang . She'd chase nearby doves like a warrior when someone caught her by surprise, and took pleasure in keeping cats out of her territory. If she were inside when you got home from work, she'd be first at the door, greeting you with her shy little shuffle. It wouldn't matter what had happened that day, she was a reason to crack a smile.
Like me, she loved her food, and I was always happy to share my peas with her. She loved spaghetti, and roast chicken and had an uncanny ability to hear the peeling of a carrot, or the opening of the biscuit barrel.
Most nights I'd have a cup of tea, she'd wake and share some biscuit with me. It was our routine, our tradition.
Life is made up of increments of time, pieces of things put together to make a whole day. Bonnie was so ingrained in almost every part of my life, I'm utterly devastated by her absence now. Now there are wide, gaping holes in the days - the silence is crushing, time has slowed to snails pace these past two days - I feel sick when I remember for certain she's gone.
I could go on and on about her, but I won't. I know some people don't understand how animals can be grieved so fiercely. And to me, those people aren't such great 'people'. My Bonnie - for all her faults and flying jumps was beautiful. She wasn't conventional, or easy to understand, but she was my friend and the best kind of 'person' I might ever know. Up until yesterday I don't think I've ever felt so alone. My 'almost Tess', my friend under the table, my hello at the door, I will miss you forever. And forever feels like a very long time right now.
Rest in peace my little Biscuit.