I never realized how much a presence he had in this house. The house was always quiet when the dogs were at the kennel, but both dogs were gone. And when he had his surgeries and spent the night at the vet, it was brief and we were distracted. But now it is just so clear that he is missing. He was always under my feet. I couldn't cook, load the dishwasher, check the fridge, or do anything without him right there waiting for me to drop something. He loved the steam of the shower and would often lay down on the bathroom rug as I showered. Anytime I was in the bathroom it was the perfect opportunity for him to come and lay his head in my lap. He was just always there. I always knew where he was because I could hear him breathing and wheezing 3 rooms away. Scratching. Shaking. Licking his balls. He filled an entire house with his noise.
Haze spends most of her time laying down, watching us, wondering. The first night she eagerly ran to the door when Vader came home from work, thinking he would be bringing Isaac home. Every once in a while she walks around and just looks. I can see it in her eyes. She is very very quiet. She doesn't bark. She looks confused at feeding times and waits as long as she can before she gives in and eats.
He was only 8. I'll never know what happened. We were on the deck. One minute he was fine, the next he was laying down and dead. SkyWalker saw him lay down, heard him whining, told me and I said he was fine. He said "No, there's something wrong", and I went to him and he wasn't moving or responding. Vader tried to get his heart to start again, he tried chest compressions, tried everything we could think of. We're guessing that he had a heart attack. But we'll never know for sure. Vader took him to the vet the next morning to be cremated and he chose not to have him examined. He chose not to bring home his ashes. So we'll always have this question hanging over us. Wondering if the tapeworm he'd had the week before had done more damage than we thought before he got medicine. Wondering if something else had been going on. Wondering.