Pond Scum

It’s 9:30pm and I am literally covered in pond scum. As a 23-year-old semi-attractive female, I would love to tell you that I was invited to some party, got wasted, and through a series of hilarious events ended up in a pond. I would like to tell you that, but it wouldn’t be true. And actually, I wouldn’t want to tell you that because, fuck, it’s only 9:30pm, no one should be that wasted that early in the evening. Party fail. Or something like that. I don’t know, I’ve never been cool.

No, in reality I am covered in pond scum because at 9pm, my dogs looked sad. They wanted a walk, a walk that around the building wouldn’t satisfy. So, I took them for a walk around the well-lit and well-traversed path around the pond that I only ever walk on with my 60 lb husky who punches dogs in the face for humping and my 50 lb thing that people have honestly accused of being a white coyote that I somehow partially domesticated (so I’m being safe, Mother).  Anyway, after a long winter of doing whatever the fuck it is they do to survive the strange and hellish conditions of this Michigan winter, the frogs are back. I decide to take this opportunity to show my two year old white devil (aka my dog Elena) what frogs are. And while doing this my four year old asshole named Azlan jumps into the pond because he’s a douche. I pull him out and he shakes off the pond scum onto me because he is a horrible animal.  So that is why it is 9:30pm and I am covered in pond scum.

But I would rather be in my apartment with my pups covered in pond scum than sitting far too drunk in a pond with a bunch of drunk people I probably don’t know very well. I think, anyway. I haven’t ever actually done that. But shit like that isn’t exactly on my bucket list.

Anyway…onto the depressing shit this blog is known for. Well, technically, this blog isn’t popular enough to be known by anything, but if it was, it would be for the depressing shit. Or that was the goal at least. Last week I flew back to California because my best friend died. My best friend was my family’s dog, Remy, but let me explain why this dog meant so damn much to me. I have had panic attacks since I was 5-years-old, which is, to say the least, uncommon. In addition to that, I didn’t realize what they were until I was twenty. That’s at least 15 years of debilitating, undiagnosed panic that I hid because I was ashamed and confused. But from 11 on, at least I had Remy. He was an extraordinary dog, one of those naturally gifted at detecting and empathizing with human emotions. From 11 on he was there for every panic attack that I tried to hide, every depressive episode that I tried to ignore. He would sit on my lap and lick away my tears. Anything to help me feel better.

I will always remember the night that I got particularly upsetting news about my relationship at the time. It was late and he was sleeping. I would randomly start sobbing, uncontrollably. And every single time he sighed deeply, got off the couch he was sleeping on, and walked over to sit in my lap and comfort me.  He probably did this about 10 times in one night, well into the early hours of the morning. And every time I would laugh through the tears and kiss his head, because he seemed tired and annoyed, but he still got up. Every single time. And because he was there during all the moments I was too young to understand, I needed to be there for him.

My best friend, my sweet boy, had tumor in his throat. It first put pressure on his esophagus and then on his trachea. By the time I came back from Michigan, 3 months after I had last seen him as my happy, playful boy, every breath was raspy. He could only eat wet food. He couldn’t run. He couldn’t play. And there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t wipe it all away like he had done for me. All I could do was hold him and tell him that I loved him more than he or anyone else could ever know. He helped me more than I could express. He saved me.

And I was there when we put him down after a horrible night where no one in the house slept. Because he couldn’t sleep. And he was everything. I can’t express how much this dog meant to me, meant to my family, I can’t explain Remy unless you met him. He was so much more than a dog.

On his last ride to the vet, he was gasping for air. We were all crying. My family couldn’t imagine life without this dog. We still can’t. And this dog, while he was dying, while his every breath was ragged and painful, he licked away my tears. Because this dog was selfless. Because we meant everything to him. And I hope he knows he meant everything to us.

He is why my dogs mean so much to me. He is the reason why I do everything to make my dogs happy. He is the reason why when Azlan covered me in pond scum in the middle of the night, I laid in the grass and laughed at the stars. Because they can mean so much to us, and have such little time, some dirt doesn’t matter.

I will miss Remy everyday for the rest of my life. Because I loved him and because he deserved so much better than what he got.