When Annemarie delivered me and my little wooden box back home, the house felt so empty. It was empty – just me left. There was only one thing that I wanted to do. I went to bed and stayed there for the next four days. There was no point in anything. I wanted to die. To be released from the intense agony that came over me in waves every few seconds.
I kept looking for Chandi. We were always together. My head was finding it impossible to adjust to her not being there and it seemed as though I would forget that she’d gone, and I’d look for her and then I’d remember. This happened again and again and again. It was unbearable.
I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t stand the dark. As soon as I put the light out – I only tried it once on the first night – I was immediately back at the Vet’s in the operating room on the night Chandi died and going over and over the events in my head. I felt as though I was going mad. I couldn’t stand the silence.
The only way I could get even a few moments of peace at night was to leave the light on and have the TV on with some mindless show. I would fall asleep briefly, but even turning the TV off for a second delivered me instantly back to where I didn’t want to be. It was fourteen days before I could tolerate darkness and silence, but even then I would wake in the small hours and start to sob as I remembered what had happened and tried to understand why.
Having not eaten or drunk anything for four full days, I was going downhill fast. I wanted to die. I didn’t want to be here without Chandi. She wasn’t ‘just a dog’, and I wasn’t some friendless freak that only had a dog for company. Chandi was my choice and I loved her as much as it is possible for anyone to love anything. She made it so easy to love her. She was mine and I was hers. Two souls, one life.
If it hadn’t been for Annemarie, Emma, Sian and Roy and their constant phone calls, I don’t think I would still be here. When I did finally drag myself out of bed due to sheer thirst, I switched on the computer and searched for adverts for blue merle Border collie puppies. That’s how I found Grace.