02206: Echoes and Shadows

The Sietch feels so quiet without Yoshi. And it's a somewhat funny statement since he wasn't exactly a noisy dog. But Tobie and I keep catching ourselves checking behind our chairs before standing up in case he's lying down behind us or listening out for the scratching of his claws on the floor when he moves around the house. We still expect him to run to the door before someone can ring the doorbell and we half expect to look down to find him staring at us whenever we hug or happen to be close together. He always wanted to be part of the conversation or to be where all the action is.

When cooking, we still expect to turn around to find him sitting up straight in order to show he's well-behaved enough to deserve a vegetable treat. You hope for the familiar white blur at your feet when you move around the apartment as he'd always follow us quite closely.

I miss telling him it's time for bed and he'd know to go into the bedroom to lie down beside the night table at my side of the bed. I miss being able to look down and see him resting peacefully and being able to reach out an arm and fall asleep stroking his fur. Sometimes I feel like I hear him walking behind us when we move about the house and then I turn around and see nothing.

I think most of the tears have already been shed and now it's more important to focus on moving forward. We've started to sort through his things and have disposed things of no more use while sharing his food and snacks with Che, who was kind enough to visit us last night and just hang out while we shared Yoshi stories. We still have to sort through his stuff at the office and we intend to donate his leftover speciality food and medicine back to the clinic for other dog-owners who may not be able to afford the full treatment for dogs with his condition. It feels like the right thing to do - a way to share our love for Yoshi with others and perhaps share his blessing as well.

There's a Yoshi-sized void in our hearts and in our home that will never be completely filled. But its not entirely a bad thing because his place in our lives is such a bright and cheerful one and one that we will not look back on with regret.