I've been really, really sick this weekend. I've been so nauseous that it's been difficult to concentrate on anything. I'm a little better today. I think it's because of last night's visit. Long time readers will remember Eric, my little dog, who I loved completely. He was an abandoned, beaten stray that came into our lives and immediately began setting things right. He loved us each the way we needed to be loved, watched out for us - spotting bad people in an instant and giving himself over to the job of being our companion.
When I got the flesh eating disease all those years ago, Eric was a big part of my healing. In fact the doctor thinks I'm well and alive because of him. But that's a story I only tell in person and only tell to a few. Needless to say, though, during the healing process he was beside me constantly. He alerted Joe to when I needed him - even when I didn't know I did. For almost a year after getting back on my feet, when coming home from a trip, Eric insisted that I drop my pants and he smelled my leg, examining it back and forth, looking for any sign of illness. It was only after this review that he would greet us properly.
Eric's death was one of the most difficult things I've ever endured. Both Joe and I openly wept and greived. His ashes are here with us and he will be buried with us. I miss him every day, and think of him several times a day. God sent us that little dog. I curse whoever beat him, whoever abandoned him but I thank life that it was to my arms he came when we saw him in that parking lot.
But last night, I woke into a dream and Eric was beside me. Cuddled up against me. For an hour I petted him and felt his warmth against me. I saw his eyes, again, looking at me with love and concern. I told him the 'three stories' that he liked to hear. How he came to live with us, how he got his name, and the 'other' one. The dream I woke into was of a world that was still populated by one little dog, with barrel chest and spindly legs, with floppy ears and greying snout.
When I woke into the real world, Eric was gone again, afresh, but I was feeling better. The nausea had abated a bit and I can conceive, easily, going to work.
But the oddest thing was, when I ran my fingers through my hair this morning, I'm sure there was a bit of brown fur there.