>> Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Today is a particularly bad Wembley day. I have a lot of these, but the approaching six month anniversary of her passing isn't helping, nor is the fact that her collar still smells like her.

Wembley had many collars, as all of our animals get their collars changed for seasons and holidays. While Reagan can't wait to be "naked", Wembley loved wearing her collars and always looked a little prouder when we put a new one on. The ultimate collar though, is the Wembley collar, that being a bright pink collar with her name spelled out in rhinestones.

All of her collars are tucked away now in a pink hat box with hearts all over it. I remember when I bought the box just to store all of her stuff. I put her dog shirts, her cheerleading outfit, her favorite toys, all of her collars, and all of the cards we received while she was sick and when she passed away. There's a ceramic heart with her paw print on it too. The cashier, trying to make conversation, remarked,

"Someone is getting a big Valentine's Day present."

Now, I know he was only trying to be friendly, but it was only a week or so after Wembley's death, and it took every piece of strength I had to not cry at the checkout. Instead, I smiled, and cried in the privacy of my own car.

The rhinestone collar finally went into the box this afternoon. It was slung over a picture of Wembley as a puppy, but I discovered that this collar still holds Wembley's scent very strongly. For those fleeting seconds it seemed like she was still here and this nightmare never happened. If I can smell Wembley on this collar, no doubt Reagan can, and that's the reason I put it in the box. It is easier for us to understand where Wembley went. We know the gory, clinical details, but Reagan doesn't. She doesn't understand cancer or chemo. She doesn't understand why Wembley isn't here. People might think that is easier, but Reagan is an intuitive pup and she still looks with hope that maybe Wembley came home from work with Alan today, or maybe Wembley is just hiding in the corner, or maybe Wembley is in one of her usual napping spots. Reagan is not the same dog. She's happier now, but there is something different about her, and that's just one more reason to put the collar in the box.

If only removing the sadness were so easy.



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