So here's the thing about no longer having a dog.
It has made life so much easier, and yet so much lonelier.
We can now pick up and go out, at any time, for any length of time, without having to worry about coming back to let Gypsy out lest he pee on the floor. We can go away for the weekend (as we are doing this coming weekend - yay!) without having to get someone to stay at the house to watch him, and then have to spend time cleaning the house and changing sheets and doing all the prep work for someone to stay at the house, in addition to packing and prepping to go away. That part of it really kicks ass, because we are very spontaneous and we love to go out. My husband is particularly happy that our lives have changed in this way, and I am enjoying the freedom it has given us.
There is still not a day that I come into my house and don't expect to be nearly licked to death by my dog, even though he has been gone for a couple of months now. There isn't a time when I sit on the couch to watch tv and I don't look to call him up to lay with/on me. There isn't an occasion when I cook and drop crumbs and don't expect the dog to eat them before they hit the floor.
On Saturday night, we were over at a friend's house celebrating Halloween. It was post-trick-or-treating, and the kids were trading candy and playing while the adults sat around and talked and had drinks. My friend's daughter came up and sat on my lap at one point and told me I was her favorite person in my family...then my husband, and then my daughter (probably because my daughter is older and doesn't always want to let her play with the older kids). Then she corrected herself - I was first, followed by Gypsy, and then hubby and then TJK. Ugh, she didn't know Gypsy had died because she hadn't been over in a while. I choked back a sob and didn't even have the heart to tell her that Gypsy was gone.
Everywhere we go, we see dogs. Everyone in our neighborhood has dogs, and we live right next to a huge park so everyone walks their dogs past our house. And I basically want to roll around on the ground and cuddle and/or wrestle with every single one. And then I just want a dog so badly again. I want a boxer. Or maybe a bulldog. Or another pittie, a white one with black markings. Or a little chi-chi dog like a yorkie or shitzu that I can put in my Louis Vuitton bag and carry with me everywhere. Or any dog, really. An ugly dog will do just fine because even the ugly ones are still cute.
And I know my husband would never go for it. At the end of Gypsy's life, he was the one getting up 10 times a night to let him out and still stepping in a puddle of pee the next morning. And honestly, it was really hard for me at the end, too. Gypsy couldn't hear and could barely see. He had accidents every day, usually multiple times per day. He walked sideways because his balance was off. He couldn't walk down the stairs anymore, and our house is full of staircases. He couldn't jump up on the couch by himself so you'd have to hoist him - and he was 65 pounds. And then, of course, there was the very end, which was so difficult and so awful and I never want to go through it again.
And that, honestly, is why I will probably never have a dog again. I love dogs so much and love having them as pets/family members...but they don't live forever and I can't deal with that again.