I dreamt about her last night (she was euthanised a little less than a year ago after 6 weeks of bladder infection, pinched spinal nerve, constipation and ultimately sepsis). In my dream, she showed up at an animal shelter and I was able to adopt her: "That's my dog" I said, as a plexiglass enclosure rocked manically with the force of May's enthusiasm to be with me.
I wish I could have that second chance with her. There's some guilt around what I did to her life: I adopted her (then aged 1) away from her mother with whom she was tightly bonded. Perhaps that led to her nervousness, which may perhaps have led to her chronic and oft operated upon anal gland issues. And then I had two children and she all of a sudden got so much less attention than she did before.
I walked today over the soccer fields in which May used to run in circles with glee, tail fluffed up like the tails of the deer she would chase off those fields into the adjacent woods, and missed her horribly. I also caught myself incanting "I'm so sorry, May."
There's a whisper of ridiculousness in the depth of my grief: How does one dignify the death of a pet when so many much more terrible things happen?
Is there a way to atone for shabby treatment of a now deceased pet?