One of the reasons that I bonded with Jet so deeply was that I saw myself reflected back in him. Jet was never the dog that people ooohd and ahhhd over in the park. Little children didn't squeal and run towards him. With his floppy ear, snaggle tooth and stubby tail, Jet was funny looking. He was, as my brother fondly called him "a dented can" dog. Like the dented can, one you pick up in the discount aisle, the corn inside is perfectly good, it's the outer package that isn't all that attractive.
To me, he was beautiful. His imperfections made him more so. It's how I see myself. And as I've long since established, I don't love anyone nearly as much as I love me. Like me, Jet had been dinged up by his previous life. And as happy as we made each other, I could always spot a little bit of fear, and a little bit of sadness in his big brown eyes. And so I would sit down on the ground next to him whenever I saw that reflection in his eyes and I would pull him close and scratch his ears and give his whole body a squeeze. I would tell him I loved him. Not so surprisingly, it made me feel instantly better.
I plan on going to Buffalo at the end of August for an overdue visit with the family. One of the reasons I brought Jet to the vet in the first place was because I was trying to get his vaccinations and medical records up to date so I could take him with me. Sadly, I just couldn't get him ready to travel. My mom would have loved my funny looking friend about as much as her funny looking kid.
I want to thank everyone who commented and sent their comfort and condolences, both here on this blog and in private e-mail. I spent quite a few mornings this week tearing up as I read the kind words people took the time to send. And lousy circumstances aside, I was quite surprised and happy to hear from a dear friend from the left coast that I haven't spoken or written to in far too long. Thanks for writing Beth, I miss you.
Come September, assuming I feel better (and I more than likely will), and when the weather cools off here in NYSweaty, I believe I'll find another dog to share my house, and with any luck, the foot of my bed. It will be bittersweet at first, I'm sure. Knowing me, I'll probably not be able to resist searching the dented can aisle first.