And then we picked up the kids and drove home with Big Kid sobbing and little kid chattering about getting a new dog or whittling wood in her honor (a prohibited hobby he's been wanting to take up for a week now).
And then we walked into our emptier home and little kid burst into tears and sobbed for an hour, clinging to me and repeating "I miss her" 400 times, while Big Kid researched "Heaven", "Dog Heaven", and "Happy dogs" on wikipedia and google.
And I sat there and didn't cry, sort of shell shocked and unbelieving, and keeping it together everywhere but the bathroom where I sobbed in short, quiet bursts so as not to get the kids riled up again.
I keep seeing us, from a third person perspective, walking out with no dog. Walking in with our dog and out without her. Or the tableau from the perspective of the loud, annoying lady customer who peered in when the door flashed open, at us sitting on the floor red-eyed and wet-faced with our sleeping but not yet gone friend. I see a tuft of dog hair or think of letting the dogs out and my breath catches in my lungs and I suffocate in sadness for a moment.
I sit and watch cartoons and video games and revisit these images and will myself not to cry as my heart literally aches and my insides squeeze and I just can't believe that happened, I was so tired it feels like maybe it wasn't real. But it was really, really real. And despite my will not to cry, my eyes just seep on their own, my face suddenly warm and wet, it feels like out of nowhere.
It's sad and it sucks. To put it lightly.
Big Kid never wants another pet again so it can't die (this is why little kid has a fish and he doesn't, he's had this theory for a while) and while I was shocked to hear that reasoning at first, I get it right now. It's just so freaking sad.
She was such a good, happy girl, with such a sweet heart, it's not fair her body stopped cooperating before everything else did.
If everyone had a soul like this, we would have world peace:
Vaya con Dios, old friend, and I hope we meet again some day.