I left the veterinarian’s building slowly and started to go home without her. What have I done, I thought, after I had walked two blocks. The vet was wrong. I did want to see her when she was dead. But I did what the vet had said and left. But why did I listen to her?
What should I do? How can I just walk home while my baby dies? Should I simply forget it? Should I be a coward, and not give the dead, the beloved dead, the honor due them? She was so happy, and happy to be happy, but she made me so much happier than I could ever have made her. I walked down the street blind and terrified. I was not saved and I didn’t know what I was not saved for. My little one was dying and dying as I walked. In the midst of life we are in death.
I want back. I went to the front desk. The receptionist looked at me. “I can’t go until
she’s gone,” I said. The receptionist looked frightened. “I can’t go,” I said. How mysteriously the meaning of things bursts through appearance. They told me to sit on a bench and wait and they would tell me. I saw myself in a mirror. Down below, my little white Spitz went on dying and dying.
A door slammed. A staff member appeared. “She’s at peace now.”
“I’d like to have a word with the doctor.”
“What do you want to say?”
“She’ll find out.”
But I didn’t say that word. For the last time I turned and left the vet’s office.
At home that morning, Letha and I had sat on the sofa together in front of the black floor lamp. It was a beautiful morning. I had my arms around her. Just eight hours before. I sang to her to the tune of an old Edith Piaf song.
Oh I do love my girl
And girl she loves me too
And we do love each other, doodle doodle doo.
That morning. Just eight hours before. . .