The dog left on Saturday. J simply couldn’t care for him any longer and I couldn’t take him on permanently given the progression of J’s Alzheimer’s disease, my full time job and trying to preserve some balance in my life.
I was very concerned that the loss of the dog would precipitate a meltdown. Not at all. A friend took J out to lunch on Saturday while another friend and I gathered all of the dog’s things. Our son’s girlfriend, A (another of our angels), agreed to take the dog, and so she came over to ride in the car while we transported him from our house to hers.
I cried when we left him. It was not for him, who will have a much better deal living with A, who has time and energy to feed and walk and play with him. It was not for me, who feels relief at being responsible for one fewer being. It was for J, who has lost her job, the ability to drive, financial independence and now her beloved dog.
After the dog left, J and I spent a quiet Saturday night catching up on House of Cards. When I came out of the bathroom, she was on the steps looking into the foyer, where the dog’s crate used to be. “Crate?” she said. I said, “The dog is with A.” J’s face transformed from anxious to calm. I have gotten no further questions. I have not mentioned the dog and neither has she. Even though I know the disease relentlessly progresses and her decline has been accelerating, I am stunned.
The student who had been living with us for several years also moved out this weekend. I need his bedroom to house caregivers during my upcoming trip. Fortunately, I was able to find him a spot just a block from us. (Another angel – in the form of a neighbor.)
The house seems very quiet. I’m sure I will adjust as I have to so much else.