I don’t know how to go on. I don’t know how to care about anything. First, in December, I lose Courtney. Nothing could ever be the same. I haven’t even been able to post about losing her. My heart did not have a moment to begin to recover, and then this. This.
Anya went off the road on her way back from some shows and time with one of her dearest friends in Florida. She was headed to my house to drop off a dog. She had only made it to South Carolina. We didn’t understand why she wasn’t messaging us back, as it wasn’t like her.
Then the news came. 2PM on a random Wednesday. I was doing all the dogs’ toenails. I sat down for a break.
“Jenna, Anya’s gone.”
Screaming. Screaming. NO! Scottie running in, confused, “What’s wrong? What happened?” ANYA. NO.
I rode in that truck with her many miles. She called him Trucky. She was so god damn proud of her rig. It was a box truck set up for transporting show dogs safely. Trucky did keep the dogs safe. All seven dogs are fine. One of them is here with me now. I cry every time I look at her.
Just recently we had three days, largely just us. Three days and three nights. How could I know it would be the last? We went to a dog show. We lost in every breed that weekend, every day, with every dog we had with us. That didn’t happen much, but it turned out to be a gift. We left the show pretty early every day and just hung out. We found this tavern. It was perfect. We went there every day. We had some lunches and hang out time with other friends, also amazing, but I got so much time with Anya. I enjoyed the dog banter with other friends, too, and they loved her as well. We are all so lucky we had that weekend.
I most loved driving around with her, listening to music and talking. Every song she ever sent me, I loved. We just appreciated the same kind of tunes. We talked a lot in the truck. Serious talks. Real talk. Hopes, fears, dreams, ideas, plans… we got lost a lot. We had to avoid tunnels and certain overpasses, because Trucky had a big ass.
We found an ancient old stray dog on the way to the tavern on Saturday that weekend. Anya posted him all over the local Facebook pages and we found his owner! He’d gotten out.
I don’t “people” well, and I have crippling social anxiety. Anya understood. Sometimes I’d ditch the dog show for a bit and go sit in Trucky and eat poptarts and share them with all the dogs. She always reassured me. She made me feel safe, and sometimes even bright and capable. That’s not something anyone else has ever been able to do.
Last night I found a crumpled up dog show ribbon in the pocket of the pants I was wearing to a gathering at her favorite bar, in her honor. It has survived being washed and everything. It was from the last day of that show. He had gotten first place, but only by default as he was the only dog in his class. He didn’t go on to win the points that day.
He only needs to win one more time/weekend to finish. Just days before Anya died we put him the next show at the same location.
The other night a pro handler (and friend of hers) reached out and offered to show him for me for there, since our beloved Anya is gone.
I will go, and I will hope he gets his title that day. She would be so fucking proud. I don’t know if I can show anymore after that. She would want me to do whatever made me happy. Right now I feel like that all died with her.
She’s everywhere and in everything I do. Every room of my house has a memory of her. My mind is full of images of her. The music we last jammed in Trucky. The things we talked about. The last words she said to me in real life, before she headed off.
“We’ll do this again next month! I love you, boo”
I love you too 😭