Last Sunday night, Xena and Gabby went off on another one of their infamous adventures. You know, the kind that cause me to lose sleep and what little hair I have left. They didn’t show up when I poured food in their food bowls Sunday night; only Gabby had come home by Monday night. Her behavior was very unusual – she was very depressed and wasn’t eating. That’s when the sinking feeling set in that something was terribly wrong. I’ve attempted to get Gabby to lead me to where she last saw Xena, but she either can’t go or just doesn’t know where she is.
It’s been five days now since we’ve seen her. The weather has been getting progressively worse – colder and rainier with a decent chance for sleet tonight – and there’s no sign of her. I think my old dog is gone.
Gabby is normally playful to the point of being boisterous and overactive. Last night we brought her into the house and I sat on the floor and let her snuggle up to me. Instead of having a playful dog knocking me flat on my butt, I had a hundred points of Rottweiler mix draped over my shoulder, whimpering. She may be missing Xena even more than I am right now. She’s lost her second mom.
This morning as I drove Little E to school, he started crying – it finally started to sink in with him, after hearing about it all week, that we’ve lost Xena. I pretty much lost it myself at that point.
Xena was the first animal we adopted after moving into our current house, and she was the last of our “original three” who lived here with us (Othello and Chloe are both long gone). She adored all of the cats, and she really loved the little human once he showed up. She’d lay on her back in the living room floor and let anyone – anyone – jump in the middle of her belly or grab her wagging tail and play with it. Despite the fact that Xena’s life started at another home, I’ve known her since she was a rambunctious puppy nipping at my heels while I tried to feed horses and ostriches.
But nothing, and no one, lasts forever. And the worst part, the part that really gnaws at me, is that I didn’t get to say goodbye. My dearest old dog was supposed to die at home of old age with her head in my lap, not just keel over in the woods or the pasture and become carrion.
I love you, old megamutt. It was my privelege to be your person.
Where will I get pooch smooches now?
Xena’s first day at the house, 2004.