This is going to be sad.
Pearl has been gone for two months, just before her thirteenth birthday.
I’ve been putting off writing about this because it hurts, and because it feels like it just happened. When I get up in the middle of the night, like I did an hour ago, I’m still taking care not to step on her in the dark, even though she’s not there. This house is unbelievably quiet, and I miss her terribly.
Pearl ran this place, even when her arthritis and hearing loss meant she stopped meeting us at the door. She pawed at the refrigerator and stared a hole in me as a reminder that I hadn’t given her an after-breakfast treat. Pearl loved her leather couch, and chest divot rubs, and licking chins. She had a switchblade back right leg.
She wanted to know where everyone was, including the little dogs whom she tolerated but secretly loved. When she couldn’t make it out to the yard, she watched us from the patio, or from a patch of cool grass. Pearl was 100% Momma Dog.
She snorted and snored and farted and panted all the time, and as the invisible tumor made it hard for her to breathe, she only got louder. This is why our house is so quiet now, and I remember that the quiet is actually a good thing.
Before her last trip to the vet, Simon gave her a hug and a kiss and said “Bye, Pearl!” And at the vet, I rubbed her ears and held her head for her last breath and said the same thing.
My mother told me that when I was going through a rough time, she knew that Pearl was taking care of me. This is absolutely true, and a wonderful tribute to a truly unique soul.
“Why do I call you Peach? Because you’re round and fuzzy on the outside and sweet on the inside!”