JayJay has been feeling rather rotten the last two days, so much so that Little Brooks and I both agreed that tomorrow might be the day we have to say our goodbyes. She’s been sleeping a lot and just seems the opposite of our happy, cheerful, boxer wiggly JayJay. It breaks my heart.

On the same token, it would be incredibly unkind and selfish of us to hold on to our dear JayJay because the goodbye is just too hard to come by. We love her too much to hold on to her regardless that the strength to do the right thing might seem further than our reach.

I was hopeful that Brooks would come home in time so that we could lean on each other in our grief. Things aren’t always neat and perfect and prearranged and planned ahead in life, especially when one throws in military service into the mix. I can’t schedule this per my convenience, or pen it into my calendar a few days after Brooks’s return.

We have loved on several dogs during our marriage, but not one has stolen my heart the way innocent, sweet JayJay has. She has been Little B’s confidant, his playmate, a source of strength when sadness or grief overwhelmed him. Countless times I’ve walked in on Brooks hugging his JayJay while he sobbed big, crocodile tears over missing his Daddy. I’ve seen him coo and baby talk her when he’s wanted to love on her in a show of love and undying affection.

For obvious reasons I can picture a day without Big Brooks in it, but the thought of JayJay gone is hard to swallow, let alone envision. I never quite understood how the death of a pet could affect someone so deeply, until now. And it sucks.

So tomorrow might be the day. I am thankful for today. For a lazy day spent petting our sweet girl, for wet sloppy kisses, and semi boxer wiggles, because she just can’t help being herself, sick or not. I am thankful for a Little Boy who understands that sometimes loving something so much means letting it go, because the opposite is just plain mean.