Promise I’m not going to bore you with the details, but I definitely want to express a few thoughts about this past week. It wasn’t a good one. We dealt with sick kids, a pet whose time had come, work struggles, and who knows what else. And I came to realize that there is nothing harder than seeing the end of a good thing before it gets there and knowing you can’t do a damn thing about it.

We first met Caliente while we were still in Arizona. We dog-sat for Monika, one of Ev’s vet techs, a few times, and eventually things conspired to where we ended up adopting Callie as our own. That was probably 2003 or 2004. She was a rescue dog — a pit bull mix that I liked to call “the world’s smallest pit bull.” And though she could be dog aggressive at times, she was the sweetest, softest dog you would ever meet. And she would talk to you like no other dog I’ve ever known, with a sweet “roo-roo-roo” that would melt your heart.

It’s impossible to think that I’ve known Callie longer than AJ has been alive. Impossible.

She was a very good dog. Sweet. Sassy. And the queen of the house, for sure.

Over the last 12 or so months, she’s been on the decline. She took some hard tumbles down stairs last year and that was the beginning of the end. Ev did everything she could with medicines, laser pain treatments, we even did acupuncture. And it helped some, now and then, but it didn’t stop the decline.

The last few weeks have been rough. We knew that when it got cold and snowed we were going to see rough times, and that absolutely happened. I began to dread going downstairs in the mornings because I didn’t want to find her not breathing or stuck outside, unable to get back in the house. And the latter thing happened a few times. We had a few snuggle sessions where I had her in my lap wrapped in a blanket in the recliner while we tried to get her warmed back up.

And when we finally had to put her down yesterday, there were a lot of tears. I’m a sensitive guy and am not too proud to say that I cried. Sobbed even.  She will be missed. And there will be more tears before we’re done.

Here’s the thing. When I grew up, we had a cat. Fat City Kitty. She was an indoor/outdoor cat and I think her ghost still probably haunts my childhood home. I knew her at least a decade I think. And I wasn’t home when she passed.  We had other cats growing up too, but I was not there when their time came.

When I started dating Evelyn, I got to know Lobo (a German Shepherd/Mexican Wolf mix) and Dakota (a Corgi/Beagle mix). They were really the first two dogs I got to think of as family. Lobo was a smart dog with a lot of attitude. Dakota was probably one of the best dogs in the world and an amazing navigator in the car. They both passed after we moved to Arizona. And it was sad. But I didn’t know either of them all that long. A handful of years at best. And there were still tears.

Boo and Tigger, our two cats, outlasted both Dakota and Lobo by a long while. And it was hard to say goodbye, especially to the Boo. She was a very good kitty. More tears.

That said, I’ve known Callie forever in pet years. There’s a hole there now. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve come to love our Weimaraner Storm. She’s a good dog too and it will be equally as hard to say goodbye when her time comes. But it’s hard to know these pets for this long  and not take them into your heart.

Callie. I miss you already. And as someone on Facebook pointed out, you’re probably going to be waiting in the hereafter for us wondering what the hell took us so long to get there when we finally do.

I want to hear you “roo-roo” again. 🙁