The dog days of summer are here. Defined as “the period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere,” you could say that we are smack in the middle of them. Look at the weather map for the US these days, and it’s plain to see that the heat is on. Here in Portland, Oregon, we are under a heat advisory– temps are expected to hit 99 degrees later today.
A time to turn up the air conditioner, if you’ve got one. Or fire up the fans. Hit the beach. Or go to the movies. Anything to avoid the heat.
It’s a harsh time. A time to endure.
For me, this year, it’s the dogless days of summer which must be weathered. Recently, my beloved Rowan crossed the rainbow bridge (as all good dogs eventually do) and I am bereft. Having lived nearly all my adult life in the company of dogs, I am suddenly dogless. The house is bigger for lack of dog beds scattered across the floor. Without walkies and playtime and mealtimes, and weekly grooming/brushing and the constant battle against the tide of dog hair, I am at loose ends. I feel as if I’ve forgotten something. Something important.
And then I remember.
And am left shorn and bereaved all over again. Her loss brings to mind the other beloved fur kids who preceded her: Mia, Quilly, Taz, and the rest. I remember each of them, and how, over time, the pain of loss lessens and is replaced by wonderful memories. Sometimes, even dreams.
Rowan will not be my last dog, but for now I can only endure. Some day, I know, another dog will come into my life, and I will rejoice.
Until then, I can only imagine that wonderful day, when the dog days return.