Steve and I headed out on our beach walk this morning, as usual.
But, there was nothing usual about it.
I had no bags in my pocket and Steve had no treats in his.
I did not go to the little red box to grab a colorful bandana.
And, our precious Dorje was not with us - after 14 years, her legs just gave out.
She came to live with us when she was 1 year old (JP took off on a road trip) and changed our lives for ever.
She never resented JP for giving her to us.
Yesterday, JP carried her to the vet much like he carried her home the day he found her in a box at Whole Foods in Berkeley his last year of college.
Friends have brought flowers and cards recounting funny stories about Dorje's antics.
No one mentioned the time Dorje ate 7 pounds, all 7 pounds, of See's chocolate, but the time she devoured a jar of peanut butter was mentioned.
This morning we found a book sitting on our porch.
We plan to sit around the fire pit tonight and read some of the stories.
Our walk was difficult- people greeted us asking where Dorje was.
Others greeted us with hugs since the word was out that the matriarch of "doggie play group" would not be joining the other dogs for sunset anymore.
We have never lost a dog before because Dorje was the first dog for both Steve and me.
We will remember her as she looked in Steve's painting, Happy Dog, doing what she loved more than anything - running on the beach.