I miss my dog

I'm sad without my dog. That's the only way to really describe it. I'm not depressed. I'm not despondent. I'm just sad. I'm melancholy.
I know that, with time, my sadness will ease, but right now it feels like a defining characteristic. "My name is Megan," I want to say, "and I am sad."
I know that I am lucky - that most things in my life are running so smoothly that the death of my relatively old dog is the biggest emotional trauma I have to deal with - but my heart is still having a hard time rationalizing that. I don't want my dog to be dead. I want him to be sleeping on his bed, or in front of the toilet, or on the couch (even though he's not supposed to be on the couch). I want another chance to make up for all the times I short changed him on his evening walks or the days I thought, "I should take you to the park," but never did.
Every so often, I would lay down on the floor with him. I'd place my hand on his side and scrunch my eyes closed, as tightly as I could. I'd concentrate on all the love I felt inside for him and do my best to pass it along through my arm, out through my hand and into his body. I didn't hold much weight in it actually working, but what did it hurt? I don't think my dog ever had a particularly impressive grasp of the English language either, but that never stopped me from talking to him.



"I don't want to do this," I sobbed, more to myself than to anyone else, as I stood in the small room. There was a blanket on the floor and an exam table to my right. My mom sat in a chair in the corner and my dog sat at my feet, more than likely wondering what all the fuss was about.
The time had come.
It was clear he wasn't getting any better. He was losing weight and moving around less and less. He was just as loving as always, but he had lost the energy and sense of excitement about life that he'd once had.
He used to roll around on the floor and kick his legs in the air. I hadn't seen him do that in over a week, and he would no longer come when I called for him.
The vet said many things to me while I sat on the floor, stroking my dog's side, but I don't remember most of them. "I am not sure," I remember replying many times, without really hearing the question. All I could think about was how much my heart hurt and that I would soon be without my best friend of more than ten years.
His heart stopped within seconds once the vet began to administer the drug. "He's gone now. He was very weak," I heard them say. I sat there, beside his body, stroking his side for several more minutes before I felt another wave of grief.
I loved that dog with all of my heart and a few hearts to spare. As I patted his head for the last time and gave him one last hug, I did not feel regret. Sure, I wished with everything inside of me that things had ended differently, but I knew with a certainty I could not put into words that I had finally proved myself worthy of my dog's adoration.
The first moment I held him, I knew that I would be with him until he took his dying breath... just as surely as I knew he was bound to break my heart. I wasn't wrong.