He’s been with me through it all. The good times. The bad times. Love. Loss. Road trips or trips to the store. Even when I shower or take a poop, Baxter is usually just around the corner. He sleeps with me in my bed every night. I’ll even admit that he gets the privilege of sleeping under the covers and not to mention the occasion spooning sessions. (He’s usually the big spoon) There’s not much that I’ve done in the last 3 years, that Baxter wasn’t right along side me.
When I planned my trip, I knew that I’d be able to leave him with my family. I crossed it off my checklist as easy as checking a chore off of a to-do list. But I still wasn’t prepared for the anxiety that was to come.
It’s now only a couple weeks before I leave for 45 day European adventure and it’s now starting to set in that I’m going to be leaving my best friend behind.
I know this is lot harder for me than for him, but I can’t help but feel that he might be mad at me. That he’ll feel abandoned or even that maybe, even if just for a while, he might forget about me…
The worst part about leaving him is that even as I write this, he’s snoring on the couch next to me and he has absolutely no idea that soon I’m just going to disappear from his life. (Temporarily, of course.) Like a dead-beat dad who goes out for a pack of smokes and never comes back.
I wish I were able to have a talk with him and explain that I’m not abandoning him. That I will be back and that we still have thousands of adventures yet to come. I wish that I could tell him how much he actually means in my life and that it breaks my heart to even just think about leaving him behind.
It Ain’t Easy
The one thing that anyone who is planning on traveling needs to know about leaving their pets behind is that it isn’t going to be easy. However, animals live in the moment. They don’t worry about the future. They don’t think about tomorrow. They don’t even care what’s going to happen a week from now. They simply care about NOW.
Sure, they’re are going to wonder where you went and when you’ll be back; but as long as they’re well cared for, their NOW will still be good.
I know that once I’m gone, he’ll still be getting walks and treats and belly rubs. He’ll still be fed and watered. He’ll still have a warm and safe place to sleep and he’ll be happy in the now. I might cross his mind every now and then but I know that he’ll adjust. He’ll go back to his routine and his life will go on.
It doesn’t really make it any easier to leave him; but at least I know that my trip will go by quick (probably too quick) and then I’ll be home taking him for walks and cuddling on the couch.