Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas without Erin

Erin chasing hares in Mannheim Germany. This thicket contained several families of rabbits that entertained Erin for hours on end, she never caught one but so much fun was had. Hopefully, doggie heaven has prey to pursue!!

On August 16, 2010, Erin departed this world for the next phase of her journey. This years holiday season is the first I'll spend in 12 years without the company of my fur angel. It's surreal as I envision life without numerous trips to petsmart with Erin in tow, the filling of a shopping cart with treats and knick knacks of all varieties, and photo ops with Santa. Gone are the trips to relatives houses on Christmas day to navigate through mountains of strewn gift wrappings, and gift boxes, her sniffer always on the prowl for  misplaced morsels of Xmas goodies. The young kids loved to torture her with the remote control cars until I finally got tired of the fun at her expense.

At our household, a stocking adorned with a photo of Erin attached was stuffed with her favorite treats and upon Xmas morning, it was dumped out for her approval. The larger items were gift wrapped as if she was a human and I'd unwrap them to let her inspect the package. Upon completion of unwrapping the goodies, I'd open up a few for her to sample the haul, she always approved of what Santa (me) brought down the chimney. In addition to my stash, numerous relatives and friends contributed to her growing waistline by giving packages of gourmet and organic treats, which she greedily devoured over the next few weeks. Arguably her fave present was a leftover massive ham bone and a baggie loaded with slices of ham from the family feast, Erin would plop down on her bed with the bone and gnaw away with unbridled attention.

Experts contend the holidays are the worst times for those who've lost a loved one, whether a human or four legged friend of some sort. For myself, most days are a grind to get through and my aim is to make it through the day without having a emotional breakdown, where I put myself in a dangerous situation. Thanksgiving was a somber day as I reflected upon the previous years and there's no doubt Xmas will be more depressing. Personally, its impossible to erase the slate and pretend Erin wasn't a huge part of my holidays for 12 years so I'll agonize over this period and hopefully forge new memories without Erin next year.

There's no Christmas tree or decorations adorning the exterior of the house and I'm refusing to open the Xmas boxes because Erin's ornaments with likeness and name are permanently etched. Next year, I'm hoping to be in an advanced stage of healing to allow my Holiday joy to shine outward and who knows I might even have a new dog to spend the holidays with. In the meantime, I'm wishing my family and friends a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Erin have a Merry Xmas!! Love Daddy!!

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