24 hours ago my life was completely different.
24 hours ago I was almost happy.
24 hours ago I didn't know that my life was about to take a drastic turn.
24 hours ago I was sitting on the couch, watching tv, waiting for the US friendly with Mexico to start, with Princess curled up on my legs, just as she did almost every single time I sat on the couch. If I was sitting, she was next to me.
24 hours ago I didn't know that Princess would only be with me for four more hours.
23 hours ago Princess threw up, which isn't exactly abnormal for dogs. She didn't seem to be breathing very well, though, so I woke my parents up for backup. She settled down, though, and got back on the couch with me, cuddled up a little closer than normal. I knew she wasn't feeling well, but I thought it would pass. My parents went back to bed, thinking she was ok-ish.
I went to bed after the soccer match was over. Princess wouldn't get up because she was sick, so I carried her little self to bed. I've done that a million times. I've carried her all over the place because she's so stubborn, but she's only 50 pounds and easy to carry.
She snuggled in really close, like she does when I'm upset or she's upset. She was still having trouble breathing, but only sometimes. I wasn't sleeping because I was listening for her in case she needed me.
She needed me. I just couldn't do anything to help her.
An hour after we went to bed, Princess started throwing up again, or trying to. She wasn't able to sit up. She was choking, but seemed, I don't know, sort of paralyzed. I tried to help her up, so she wouldn't choke, but she was limp. She couldn't support herself. And then she had what seemed like a seizure.
And then it was over.
I lost her. I lost her. I lost the only reason I've had to be happy in 4.5 months. I lost the only reason I get out of bed some days. I lost the most precious little girl who threw herself at me every time I walked in the door, who ran into the room looking for me every time she came in from going outside, who would sleep on her back with her tongue hanging out, who snored louder than an old man, who insisted on a belly rub every night before going out for the last time and before going to bed, who would sit like a little meerkat with her paws in my hands for as long as I would sit on the floor with her.
I lost my little dog who had the saddest eyes, who mourned her brother's death for months, who was so much like Dewey that it is like losing him all over again.
I haven't recovered from Dewey. I was only surviving because of Princess. Now she's gone, too. There is no dog pushing their way through two other dogs to get to me when I walk in the door. There is no dog that looks for me first thing when they wake up. There is no dog curled up on my lap. There is no dog to sleep in my bed.
For the first time in over 20 years, I don't have a dog.
I don't have a dog who sleeps on me.
I don't have a dog who wants to be as close as possible to me.
I don't have a dog who thinks my only crime is not paying them constant attention.
I don't have a dog who puts me above everyone else in the world.
I don't have a dog.