That’s what I feel like this morning. And, I didn’t take a one. My legs feel like lead and my heart is heavy as I collect laundry, wash sheets, and consider the various household management tasks for the day. Perhaps the saddest thing so far was collecting the hat where “Tanner” slept for the past couple of weeks. One of our dogs is named “Tanner.” When Bill’s parents came to visit, Grandmom brought a beautiful gift bag with colorful tissue paper and the promise of a present tucked inside. Katya wouldn’t even look at it. I labeled the bag “Katya,” (really I labeled it K-A-T- backwards R, because that’s how you spell Katya in Russian) to make sure she knew it was hers. I put it at her place at the dinner table. I told her that this was for her. But she wouldn’t even look at it. Perhaps she’d never received such a pretty little package – I don’t know.
But the next morning, I helped her open it, and it was love at first sight. She named this miniature Bernese Mountain Dog, “Tanner,” and he began to peform a variety of tricks in the hands of Katya. Tanner is an amazing dog. He can climb yo-yo strings. He can do nose dives off of a comparable height of 30 stories and land on the wooden floor unscathed. He can carry playmobil puppies on his back. Tanner can do just about anything. And at night, Tannner sleeps (slept) in a straw hat lined with the pretty tissue paper from the gift bag in which he was delivered.
Until last night. Last night, I don’t know where Tanner slept. He left from Dulles Airport in the outside pocket of a pink backpack. Also in this backpack were four Dr. Seuss books, a Disney Princess sticker book, a change of clothes, a toothbrush and toothpaste, four granola bars, a Melissa and Doug stamp kit, and a photo album of our time with Katya (with 30 grivna tucked in the back leftover from our spring trip).
This morning, I stripped Katya’s bed and found the straw hat with the tissue paper at the foot of the bed. I miss her. And I feel a bit like I have a Tylenol PM hangover. Last night Katya slept in an airplane hurtling across the Atlantic Ocean and I imagine that Tannner slept in her arms.