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OK (takes deep breath). This morning I woke up around 1:30 and couldn’t get back to sleep (this is actually becoming the norm: some weird variation of insomnia that Dr. Depression says it typical). I tried for about an hour to get back to sleep, with no success. So I got up to start my day.

(As an aside, I should give you a bit of background. My day normally starts between 3:30 and 4:00 a.m. I get up, take the dogs out, go to the barn to do chores, come back in, do the ‘get-ready-for-work-ritual’, make sure my darling wife gets up to do her ritual, eat some breakfast and head to work at about 6:15.)

We live on a rather large farm (80+ acres) which my parents own and we help run. At 3:00 in the morning it is amazingly quiet: most everyone is still asleep, there or no cars on the road, the birds are quiet. Nice. Peaceful. As everything is still asleep at this time, and we live on the farm, we usually let the dogs out for a brief frolic-relieve-yourself period, all except Miss Twink, who, being a newcomer, has not yet learned the rules and must be walked on a leash.

Let me add at this point that we have trained our dogs very well about their boundaries. And did I mention that there is almost never a car on the road at this time?

So, it’s a little before three in the morning. I put the leash on Miss Twink, gather up the other three (Pugsly, Kaylar and the Bug). And out we go. The Bug (a Brussels Griffon – tiny little dog, just like the one in the movie As Good As It Gets only black) runs around the back yard whizzing on everything. The two big dogs (Kaylar – and Australian Cattle Dog, one of the most intelligent breeds, and Pugsly – Kaylar’s half-brother and a mutt) head off around the Jeep to the middle of our oval drive. This is a favored ‘dumping ground’ of theirs. And I start walking Miss Twink. About two minutes go by (Miss Twink only had time to squat once, instead of her usual three of four times); I hear a car come zooming sown the road. It passes our house, zipping right along. As it passes our neighbor’s house, I hear a loud *thud*. The car doesn’t stop (or really even slow down) so I figure it hit a small animal, probably a raccoon or a groundhog. This is a fairly common occurrence in our lovely rural wasteland. To be safe, though, I call the dogs to the back yard. I can see the Bug (who is partially deaf, partially blind and completely stubborn) still running around the yard, dribbling on everything and ignoring me completely. Pugsly come running back around the Jeep. But no Kay. I call her again, and still no response. And the bad feeling sets in.

I get the dogs back in the house, grab a flashlight, and head back out. Still no Kay, and now my stomach is queasy. I walk along the front of our property, looking. Looking, hoping not to find anything. I cross the property line, and continue walking down the front of our neighbor’s property. At the far corner of their property is Kay. Or what was once Kay…*takes a short break*

It was her that the car hit. I have absolutely no idea what she was doing. She knew better that to cross the property line; she knew better that to go towards the road. In the twelve years we had her, she had only gone to the road once before. So, I don’t know. I don’t know and I don’t understand.

*SO*. She was gone. No doubt about that. I picked her up and carried her back to the house. She was in pretty bad shape – she must have slid down the road a bit. I carried her, 60+ pounds of limp, bloody dog, and set her beside the garage. I must’ve been in a bit of shock or something, because I couldn’t think what exactly to do. So I went and did chores. They had to be done, so I did them.

I was a bit clearer-headed after that. I went into the house to tell my darling wife. It must have been about three-thirty, and I had to wake her up to tell her that the girly-girl was gone. What a way to start her day. But I had to, because I knew that she would want to say goodbye. So, after a brief bout of grief, we went back out. More grief, longer this time. We decided that we needed to bury her before we left for work, partially so that other animas wouldn’t get to her, partially because it would be easier to do before rigor set in, and partially because of the unpredictable nature of the weather this time of year. So, at four a.m., we are out in our own private pet cemetery, digging by flashlight. We took turns, and it really didn’t take too long, but it was *very* difficult. Not physically, but, you know, emotionally.

*SO* (looking back, I see that I’ve been using that a lot, but too bad). My darling wife, who should win the Most Dedicated Employee of the Year Award, decided that she *had* to go to work (I think is probably easier for her to deal with if she keeps her mind occupied). I on the other hand, called in sick. In my defense, I was feeling extremely wretched. The lack of sleep and the loss of a dear friend will do that to you, I guess. So I stayed home, ate a banana so I could take my meds, made a very brief post, and went back to bed for a while. I recently got up and wandered around the house a bit, then came up here to make this post. I can’t believe it’s taken almost two hours for me to write it. I guess I should go now and do some housework, try and do *something* constructive with the remainder of the day.

Just one more thing. Rest in peace girly-girl. We will miss you.
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