You might notice a preponderance of chocolate in my last few posts. That's because I've been self-medicating a heavy heart. As of late, I've needed mega doses of chocolate just to get through the day.
Our beagle, Harry, was diagnosed with prostate cancer last October. It's a rare form of cancer for a neutered dog to develop and there is no treatment. By the time we discovered it, tumors had already spread to his kidneys. It was a blow to hear the news from our vet but Harry seemed to be doing reasonably well despite the cancer. We were advised he might have a few good months left and to enjoy our time with him.
After a period of initial grief on hearing the diagnosis, I promptly went into denial and set about spoiling Harry with plenty of love and treats. I think I actually believed my dog would get better and I wouldn't have to face losing him.
And he did seem to rally for a little while. He was our same old Harry- alternately contrary and stubborn, then loving and snugly. He'd still practically do a back flip for cheese and he still insisted on a daily minimum number of pets that he'd extract from you by resting his head on your lap and looking up at you with the most soulful yet slightly pathetic eyes. I was an easy mark and would crumble under that look and gladly pet him until he got his fill and wandered off to do something else.
Life seemed to go on as usual and the longer it did, the more my denial increased.
When Harry did get sick over the President's Day holiday weekend, my delusion shattered and I broke down along with Harry. He declined pretty rapidly and by Monday we knew it was time to make arrangements to let him go. I spent his last day by his side trying to comfort him and choking back sobs. Our vet came to the house that evening and mercifully and kindly put Harry to sleep.
As you might imagine, I'm bawling as I type this. The tears aren't as constant this week as they were last week but my heart is still pretty raw.
It's amazing how empty a house with two adults and two remaining dogs can feel. We're all out of sorts and it's just going to take time to get over losing Harry. Every day gets a little easier but the sadness is still palpable. Jack and LuLu seem lethargic and aren't eating as much as usual- dogs grieve in surprisingly similar ways to humans.
If I could heal my broken heart with chocolate, plenty of hugs from Eric, and smothering Jack and LuLu with affection, I think I'd have made a full recovery by now. Since that's not the case, I'm going to move on from chocolate desserts for now. I'm sticking with Eric's hugs and the puppy love, though. I've learned not to take it for granted that they'll always be by my side.
Go kiss your kitty, pup, rabbit, ferret, bird, whatever and thank them for the immeasurable joy they add to your life. Soon, hopefully, I'll just remember all the happy, goofy times with Harry and not the pain of losing him.
I found this recipe on The Kitchn while trying to distract myself from crying. I think the title "blondie" is a bit of a misnomer 'cause my batch look a whole lot like brownies. It's probably due to the addition of espresso powder- I think I might skip it next time. Do not, however, skip the optional coconut flake. It added just the right note. These blondies couldn't be any simpler to make- a perfect project for someone not particularly inclined to bake but trying to get back to some sense of normalcy. That probably doesn't sound like much of a recommendation but I promise they're worth the (minimal) effort.