While getting tattooed late yesterday afternoon, I brought my artist up to speed on recent life events; my solo trip to Denver, a recent trip to the chiropractor, and, of course, Bruster’s sudden passing. I don’t think about him much these days, to be honest — simply forgetting or ignoring unpleasant truths is how I, and a lot of other people, cope — but talking about him with Aaron yesterday afternoon brought him to the forefront of my mind last night, and our conversation definitely influenced my dreams.
It was dark out, and I was traveling, on foot, through a strange city… one I’ve never visited before. Silo and Tycho were there with me, and Bruster was, too, which didn’t seem unusual. As we moved (and the screen panned) from left to right, I was able to take in the gorgeous view of the sun setting on the coast. We continued nearing the water until we had reached the absolute edge of the concrete; at this point, there was a retention wall of sorts separating us, persons and pups in the city, from the water… gazing down from where I stood, it looked like we were maybe 5-6 feet above sea level.
I remember panicking at this juncture — realizing that, while Si and Ty probably wouldn’t make any sudden moves, Bruster wouldn’t HESITATE to plunge into the water. It was familiar to him, and he had wonderful associations with it. He’d swam in plenty of lakes, ponds, rivers and creeks before, but never the ocean. It was, usually, too far away from where we were, and it was ALWAYS too dangerous.
Just as I was about to call out his name and a command, his big, fat, sheppy body disappeared into the dark water, and without hesitation, I jumped right in after him. I was startled to realize that my feet couldn’t touch the ground.
Bruster seemed to realize, very quickly, that this water was different from the waters he’d experienced before. It tugged and pulled at him and swirled all around him, and he didn’t like it. He moved towards the retention wall, but neither of us were tall or strong enough to reach the top of it. There was no ladder, and — since we were unable to simply pull ourselves up — we were, literally, stuck in the water. In the ocean. And, to make our outlook even bleaker, the sun seemed to be receding from us quicker than before.
When Bruster began to sink, I grabbed onto his 95 pound body with both of my hands, wrapping my arms tightly around his chest, and then I watched in horror as we — pulled by the evening tide — began washing further and further away from the city.
Panic seized me. I knew that, if I broke away from him, I stood a chance — Charlie was standing up there, right? On that concrete ledge? It was hard to see. If he was, maybe he could magically track down a nearby rope, or a handy 10-foot pole. There was nothing we could do for Bruster, as there were no nearby access points to the city — but I believed that Charlie could at least save me.
I turned to look at Bruster. I was barely able to hold his head above the water, but for now, we were making it.
I made my decision, and then I held my baby close to me as we both disappeared into the darkness.
If only we could have died together that way. Me and my four-legged soulmate, drowning in deep, dark waters… never made to suffer a day without each other.
That was last night’s dream, and it was a real doozy. I was grief-stricken all morning because of it, recalling Bruster’s distinct shape and the weight of his body in my arms. He became too real to me again. For months now, he’s felt more like a fairy tale… just a dog that I dreamt I had. But now, with the sweet memory of him outlined and colored in so clearly in my mind, I’m forced to acknowledge his realness, and caused to feel a fresh anger towards his heartless murderer. It’s so devastating — having to continue living in a world where despicable human beings can get away with cruel and inhumane actions towards others with the false truths that they tell.
But here I am in the waking world — doing my best to leave happy and hopeful impressions on the ground behind me and eagerly waiting for the day when I’ll find out where the hell he went and how, post-death, we can reconnect… be together again.
But things aren’t all gloom and doom. I do have some good news to share.
I launched my “help Jace self-publish her novel!” Kickstarter campaign less than TWO HOURS AGO, and I’m absolutely thrilled about it! I haven’t mentioned the novel a whole lot on this blog (its existence has been bobbing in and out of posts on other social media platforms), but here’s a little bit of info: The novel tells the tale of a rabbit named Jinx and a fox named Caldwell who embark on a spectacular, joint adventure from the forest into the city. The story is about self-discovery, magic, love, and loss. It’s my favorite story that I’ve ever read, and I just so happened to write it. 🙂
SO, if you feel so moved, please feel free to pledge a donation to my campaign! So far, one beloved person has pledged, and the email I received (notifying me of their donation) sent happy chills all the way down my spine. Campaign proceeds will go towards satisfying an array of self-publishing costs (both listed AND unlisted), annnnnnnnnd to entice you just a little bit more, I’m offering a limited number of EXCLUSIVE REWARDS for tiered pledge amounts, so you better hop to it!
To pledge an amount, click right here.
Happy to be non-dreaming, aka awake…