12:53 am - Mon 12.15.2008
Sun 12/14/08 (1:28 a.m.)
�Lady�, my neighbor Mark�s 17 year old Sheltie, died yesterday morning.
Mark knocked on my door just before 9:30 a.m. (I�d woken up earlier, but had gone back to bed), to say he needed to take her to the vet.
I guess I was kind of out�of-it, because I didn�t immediately understand that we were talking about the trip to the vet - the final trip (A trip we�d previously discussed - Mark doesn�t have a car, so I�d told him to �let me know� when the time came, saying we�d �figure something out�).
To my chagrin, at first I thick-headedly started going on about having an appointment with JS, before realizing, 1) Mark was indeed talking about taking Lady to the vet to be put to sleep, something I�d already agreed to help him with �when the time came", and 2) my appointment with JS (To have him look at the results of my recent headshot session) was something that could certainly be postponed under the circumstances.
I hadn�t showered or shaved since Wednesday morning, and was naked to boot - I�d thrown on a bathrobe to get the door - so I told Mark I was going to just hop in the shower, then I�d meet him in the lobby.
And in the fifteen minutes or so it took me to do that, back up in Mark�s apartment, Lady took her last breath...and was gone.
When we met up again and Mark told me Lady has died in the interim, I didn�t quite know how to respond; I said �I�m sorry� - cause I was - and awkwardly chucked him on the shoulder, man-style.
We walked the couple of blocks to my car, then stopped back at the apartment, so he could get her body (which he�d put in a small canvass bag - it was odd to me, just how small of a "package" she made), then drove to the vet clinic on Beverly and Larchmont.
On the way, Mark talked about her final hours, before recalling the beginning of their relationship; he�d bought her at a West Hollywood pet store when she was three or four months old (After watching her and her sister play tug-of-war with a piece of rope).
At the clinic, I hung out in the waiting room while Mark went in with his sad little canvass parcel, to say a final goodbye (Afterwards, he told me the vet had examined the body, just to make sure she was dead - and she was dead).
I briefly chatted with David Krumholz - one of the stars of Numbers - who was there with his wife/girlfriend and someone in a pet carrier, then I approached the counter; Mark was short of funds, so I'd offered to front him the money, and I thought I'd "take care of it" right then to save time.
But the woman at the counter said there wasn't any charge, which I thought was nice (Apparently, the money Mark had needed would have been if we'd made it there with Lady alive and needing to be put to sleep. But anyway...).
Afterwards, as we drove back, Mark talked about what a good dog she'd been, imagining her in heaven with his deceased family members, and he thanked me for helping him out.
Still thinking a lot about Lady's passing.
I feel a sense of relief, frankly; she'd been in a bad way for quite awhile, and as I've said before, walking her had become quite depressing, a sad meditation on mortality every time I went up to their apartment (It had become a depressing enough chore that I'm okay with losing the small amount of money I made from it just to not have to do it anymore).
But while Lady is out of her misery, and I no longer have to feel uncomfortable and sad walking a dying dog, I feel for Mark - 17 years is a long time, and I know a little something of how it feels, to be a lonely middle-aged guy with only a furry friend for companionship...and then losing them.
But the social awkwardness I felt Saturday morning continues - Me and Mark have sort of become friends since I started walking Lady, but not really (Frankly,I find him tremendously boring), but I feel like I have to "check up on him" nevertheless.
I actually feel bad that I haven't done it before now.
After dropping Mark back off at the apartment and parking the car, I realized I was only running a little late for making the appointment with JS that I'd canceled.
So I called JS back, found out the slot was still open, and ended up getting to the office about 15 minutes before his next appointment - plenty of time for our purposes.
This was the first time JS had seen me without the mustache, and he was quite enthused about the new "look", saying it made me look "five-to-eight years younger".
Vanity aside, that was exactly what I wanted to hear; for my career, I'm really hoping I can hang onto a middle-aged "look" as long as possible, and if losing the weight and the mustache help me "turn back the clock" a couple years, I'm all for it.
Then he looked through my pictures, and winnowed them down to four he thought were contenders (Two of each "look").
And I was very happy to have my feeling confirmed - that I'd gotten at least a couple good shots from the session - since that now means I have a super-cheap place I can go for headshots (That's a pretty big deal - I spent about $80, and you can spend hundreds on this shit).
So anyway, I was glad I decided to keep that appointment - It turned the day into something more positive and productive than just wondering about why things die and cheery thoughts like that.
Well, I really could go on (There's quite a bit to write about right now), but it's late, I'm tired, and I like that this entry isn't about how I'm feeling after my surgery.
Good-night, fellow travelers...
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