Twelve years and nine months later, on June 29, 2013, we said farewell and I stroked his fur for the last time.
I knew my time was limited and I was as prepared to let him go as I could be. And I knew it would hurt and I'd miss him like crazy, and I do. I never thought about how silent the house would be. I didn't realize how it would feel to come home and not have to walk to the back to let him in from whatever place he was napping in the yard. How lonely it would be to not be woken up by a cute little face peeking over the mattress, letting me know that he needed something (a cookie, a restroom break, or just a kiss).
I can get used to sleeping in again. I can get used to the freedom of being able to not go straight home from work or coordinating to make sure someone could take care of him. But the silence? I don't know if I can get used to that.