For months I knew it was getting closer and closer to the time we would have to put Frank the Faux Pug down. I dreaded that day. I teared up every time I thought about losing him. You see, Frank was my constant companion for 16.5 years. He chose me as his person. I was his voice to defend him and protect him from ‘those mean people who tried to correct him.’ My rule was no one was allowed to fuss at Frank or correct him. Yes, he was my spoiled baby and I was his person.
I prepared myself so much that when this day came, I was clinical, I was numb, I was ready to see Frank out of pain. But obviously, the rest of the family was not clinical, or prepared. My 12-year old grandson was brave enough to carry Frank in his arms and put him on the table for that final shot. And then he was shattered. The tears came in like the mighty Mississippi River overflowing her banks.
I am a puddle of mush when I see someone cry. I may not know what they are crying about, but I will join in. So my tears were more for my grandson than for Frank the Faux Pug. I was clinical and numb to the process by now.
My husband, myself and my grandson arrived back home with our lifeless Frank the Faux Pug. My son and granddaughter barreled out of the house with tear streaked faces to give Frank a final hug and kiss. My 10 year old granddaughter was wailing and shaking with grief. I cried for her and my son (who was supposed to be Frank’s person, but Frank chose me) because I was clinical and numb to the process by now.
The funeral procession marched to the backyard by the blueberry bush, Frank the Faux Pug’s final resting place. More hugs, final goodbyes and crying. The family group hug as Frank was being buried brought on more sobs. I cried for them because I was clinical and numb to the process by now.
I gathered my grandchildren close as we walked back into the house. They were a sobbing mess and I hurt so bad for them. They were already feeling the pain of a life without Frank the Faux Pug. I was okay because I was clinical and numb to the process by now.
By bedtime, I was more weary than everyone else. But that is nothing unusual. Frank the Faux Pug and I always retired first. He would let me get about 6″ of the mattress, then he would perform his ritual of 3 turns and plop against my back. This was our nightly routine. I could immediately drop off to sleep once Frank was firmly planted against my back. Then we would wake up in the morning hugging each other. We shared a pillow. I would lay in the darkness of my bedroom petting Frank. This moment was always my calm before the storm of a new day.
This morning was different. I awoke hugging a stuffed giraffe. My husband told me our grandson brought this in after I fell asleep and tucked it up against my back. My grandson – who is usually a terror – who always writes the word ‘poop’ on the foggy bathroom mirror after his shower – who always sticks his fingers in candle & scentsy wax and messes it up, even after constant admonishment – who poured baby powder in front of a running fan and covered the entire room with powder dust – who took Vaseline and rubbed it over all the faucets in the bathroom – who also has a heart of gold. My grandson knew that come morning time, I would not be clinical and numb to the process.
I was clinical and numb to the process of putting Frank the Faux Pug down. But I am not clinical and numb to life without him. As I lay in my darkened bedroom this morning, petting a stuffed giraffe, I was having the calm before the storm of a life without Frank my Faux Pug.