We've connected so deeply in these last few days that I can't fully acknowledge, let alone comprehend, my looming departure. I practice leaving Fella for short stints. At first, just a few minutes at a time. By Sunday evening, I can steal away for longer spells without worrying about him pining for me. My pining is another story.
It helps that Fella's arrival here was highly anticipated. Folks from all manners of the ColoRADogs network come by to say hello, including the woman who has signed on to foster him. (She is lovely. I exhale.) A vet student shows up with a handmade snood, knitted just for him.
At one time, this dog didn't even have a collar. Now he has a snood.
Monday morning arrives uncharacteristically gray. I explain to the barber's dog that I have a flight to catch. And then one of us embarrasses herself by completely falling apart.
As much as I want to, for Fella's sake, I'm unable to hold back. I cry sad tears because I can't communicate that though I'm leaving, he's in safe, good hands. I cry selfish tears for missing him, for not knowing when the next time is I'll see his face or sniff his stink - and for no longer being the one who's there to comfort him. And I cry useless, wasted tears for all those years he spent lonely and bored and cold, this dog who looks into the eyes of every person he meets and says, "I trust."