I understoond and anticipated a lot of things around the loss of my dog, but I was not prepared for Phantom Dog Syndrome. My first night home without her was when I realized how frequently I stopped what I was doing to check on Peanut. These subsequent nights I go to bed convinced that I have a more realistic grasp on her death, but it’s the sleeping hours when everything gets blurred.
I hear, smell, and feel Phantom Peanut with amazing realism. I hear her drinking water from her bowl. I hear her coughing in the night when she couldn’t breathe and I get up to walk her, only to discover that she’s not here to be walked.
I’m exhausted from sadness and sleep depreviation and straight-up missing my best friend. Peanut was with me my entire adult life. As much as I miss her, I just want one night of sleep without that, “Peanut! What are you into… Oh no…” and then I wake up to the reality. Then I become fully awake, and I have to remind myself all over again that Peanut isn’t here.
My vet and I made the right decision for Peanut last Wednesday. I’ve been anticipating the day when I would have to make that decision for many months. I was as prepared as I could be, I think. However, there are some things I am unprepared for — I miss her so much.