I don't want to write this.
I don't want to admit that it's over. That the short amount of time we had with him was it.
I didn't want to tell my kids that yes, he was feeling better and then all of a sudden he wasn't and now he's gone.
I'm writing this through a fog of tears that's lessened as this long week finally comes to a close, but the pain is still there. A deep pit in my stomach that comes when the house is quiet and I'm alone with my thoughts.
I keep looking by the back door, or out my kitchen window, expecting to see his sweet, goofy face staring back at me. I still tip toe through the house late at night hoping I don't wake him which will in turn wake the kids.
He was far too big to sit on my lap but he did it anyway.
He knew he wasn't supposed to eat the cat food but he did it anyway.
He didn't have to love us, but he did it anyway.
Dogs are too good for humans, and he was one of the best.
I remember the day we brought him home.
He sat on my lap and howled his little puppy howl as we drove down the turnpike, before he curled up and fell asleep.
At first he would only sleep with Darren, curled up in his arms. And when he met Felix, who was barely 2, they were instantly best friends. He loved Owen like he was his own puppy. And when I started going into labor with Ellis, he could sense my every contraction.
He let the boys pounce and play, tug and tear at every bit of him. He loved so unconditionally. He put up with everything my boys put him through, and he did it with a big, slobbery smile.
I've never done anything harder than have to tell Felix his best furry friend was gone.
I held him for half an hour as he sobbed, "I miss Maverick," and all I could do was cry with him.
Sometimes I think I hear him, shuffling around in the other room, waiting to say good morning as I grab his bowl of food while I brew some coffee. But when I look, I'm greeted only by emptiness.
And it sucks.
The boys keep asking to get another dog, as if he was just some toy that can be replaced. I know that's not what they mean, and they don't understand, but dammit if it doesn't sting when they say it. They don't understand how lonely our walks will be now, or remember what he was like as a bouncing puppy who tripped over his own paws during puppy school, or that time he decided to eat our sofa because he didn't think it went with the rest of the decor.
Those memories, good and bad, are overtaking my heart right now, and I can't "just get another dog" because another dog won't be him.
It won't be the puppy I cuddled or the handsome grown dog who walked with me and Ellis nearly every day. It will be someone new who will have to start all over with.
And I'm not ready.
I'm not ready to give my heart away as easily as I gave it to him. I'm afraid of losing again moreso. What happened no one could of predicted, and there was nothing more we could do, so I'm told.
I still wish...
because all of this is a pain I wish I could take away, from my kids, from my husband, and most of all from Maverick.
He deserved better, and I wish I could have given it to him.