Ribs died in early December. I couldn't say anything about it for a long time because I couldn't even think about it. The guilt I felt for not being there when he had to be put down sickened me and weighed on me heavily. That was my dog. He was my dog since I was 11 years old. Me and Ribs were a pair. I was definitely his favorite human. And I had a responsibility to be there to comfort him in his last moments where I'm sure he was confused and very afraid. And I wasnt. When I came home a couple weeks ago, it suddenly became very real for me. I saw his collar hanging on the wall and my first instinct was to smell it, smell his Ribs smell, but I couldn't bring myself to go near it. I refused to let my brain even think about it. I still haven't smelled his collar because I know I'll lose it, I feel so guilty. He was old but I thought for sure he'd be here when I got back. He had suddenly stopped eating and anyone whos owned an old animal knows what that means. I didn't even have time to fly back home. He was suffering. I had 15 years with him. We found him starving and being shot at on the ranch on the Big Island when he was maybe a year old, skin and bones, alone, and unwanted. I tell myself that he had a great life. A much better life than he would have had had we not rescued him. But even knowing that, it still hurts just as much. The guilt hurts more than words can ever explain. I know for sure if I had been there he would have been a little less afraid, would have had some comfort. I hate myself for not being there. I can't forgive myself. I keep forgetting he's not here and going outside to bring him in the house.
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