Sunday, August 22, 2010

Phantom Dog Syndrome

Thank you for all the kind comments. I didn't know 40 people even read this blog, but I want you to know that I really appreciated each comment. Cried a bit when reading some of them.

This wouldn't have been such a shock, except it all happened so suddenly. I mean, I'd had this dog as a companion for 12 years. And yet from the time I came home, and saw the poor dog unable to get up, to the time when I walked out of the vet's office alone was a little less than an hour. The experience was surreal. I'm glad she didn't suffer very much, and she certainly seemed resigned to going, but even so.

Plus, I seem to be suffering from Phantom Dog Syndrome:
  • I keep thinking I'll go out the back door and the dog will be sitting there waiting to greet me. It's a shock to have to remind myself that no, she won't be waiting there.
  • It's really annoying to find that I have to keep reminding myself of this fact every time I go out the door. You'd think my subconscious would've gotten the message by this point.
  • Worse than going out the door? Coming home and realizing there's no dog.
  • On the plus side, I don't have any interest in food. My neighbors barbecued last night, and the woman, bless her, brought over a hamburger with all the fixin's. She went to a lot of trouble, setting the condiments on the side in their own little dish and adding extra bacon on top of the burger. It's interesting -- I admired the work she went to, thought that the food looked very edible, and still felt no urge to eat it. This too shall pass, I have no doubt.

On we go. I am again posting my exercise for the day. I'm intimidated by the thought of jogging 5.5 miles, and it would be easy to give up and forget this exercise stuff rather than try to do 5.5 miles. I'm not going to give up, just saying it would be easier than 5.5 miles. No doubt 5.5 miles will seem a much smaller distance when I'm contemplating it from the past rather than looking forward to it in the very near future.

Notice how I keep repeating the bit about 5.5 miles? Just the mere number intimidates me.

Watch this space for a gold star.

Update du 4:30 pm: really. I'm going out there. Any minute now.

Update du 6:30 pm:
Done! Finally. Had to walk part way, think I might have hurt my foot. Remember what I said about running changing your mood? Doesn't always work. Still, it's done.


Roxie said...

Continuing to think of you and Tanji this morning. I am so sorry for your loss. She's been a part of your life for 12 years, it will take a while to move the past "ordinariness" of your life together.

LMI said...

You're still in shock:-( She was such a big part of your life and losing her will just take time to process.

Hope the run makes you feel better!

josie said...


McB said...

One mile at a time, one day at a time, one walking through the door at a time.

I went through the phantom pet thing when my last cat died. It was a sudden heart thing for her, too. And then we'd keep seeing her out of the corner of our eye, or just missing her around a corner. Because, and I really do believe this, their spirits do stay with us, to ease us through the letting go period. So don't fight your subconscious too much.

sturies - drunken ramblings.

Shelley said...

Especially the part about coming home and no dog greets you...that one is really hard. It will take a lot of time - you had her for so long! Be sure to take good care of yourself right now - you really have had a major change in your life. Continued hugs to you, my friend.

Keziah Fenton said...

I still step over Hera and she's been gone more than a year. It doesn't get easier, it changes.

You need to keep running for your body's sake. Ditto for the food.

comedin - someone with a warped perspective of the world

English Rider said...

Don't try to deny how present Tanji was in your life. She lived with you and every day was interwoven between her needs and yours. It's been a month since Diva went and I still recognize her absence. I am only just starting to try to fill up the emptiness with other things.

Jo said...

Holy crap, I just heard about Tanji from somebody who reads your blog and mine. I am so, so, SO very sorry.

There is nothing else to say, really, except that I'll be thinking about you. The last time I had a good doggy pal go, it was ten days before I was even marginally conscious. I'm amazed you can blog.

Max (Kangal and GSD cross, fearful of kitties and lover of belly-rubs) sends soft nose-pokes and a worried expression to you. He would snore next to your bed to make you feel better if he could.

Amy said...

my fur family and I are very sad about your loss. Although kitty's emotions about the situation seem rather forced...

Knox was pinned by an unleashed big ass pit bull yesterday on a walk and I swear my life flashed before my eyes. He wasn't hurt and it all ended without any real loss except for those years of my life I'll never get back.

solarity said...

It will be three years in October since Hobie died, and I still catch myself saying "H--, Stony, let's go out."

The greater the dog, the greater the hole they leave behind.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

messymimi said...

This is one of those times I wish I could climb through cyberspace and give someone a real hug.

I'm proud of you for doing the exercise.

JavaChick said...

Oh Merry! I'm amazed that you got out to run at all. Sending you hugs!

azusmom said...

Sending more hugs! Give yourself time and be kind to yourself. I've had phantom dog syndrome, and it WILL get easier in time. I'm so sorry you lost her!
(Just think; she's up in doggie heaven, chasing a never-ending supply of squirrels!)

C said...

I'm so proud of you for getting out and running. Eventually the memories of Tanji will bring more joy than pain. Although my family and I still miss our Athena, we still love to share our memories of her.

Gina said...

That photo of Tanji at the door got to me. (whoa). What a sweety.

That hamburger wasn't wasted, even if you tossed it in the garbage. It served a great purpose. It helped your kind neighbor to express her love for you when she possibly felt at a loss of not knowing what to do. It helped you see that you are cared for from the time and detail that was put into the preparation for it. It shows you are not alone during this lonely time. It was a meaningful token if not a meal.

WV "smisses" = blowing kisses into the air to someone distant that you miss
-- my daughter and I blow kisses to each other each night, we then "catch" it and put it on our cheek. When I went out of town, I told Marie I'll still do that. The kiss will travel and wait for her to catch it. I think I will adopt this new word for such occasions.

Gina said...

You could blow "smisses" to Tanji.