30 August 2019

Otterpop has left the building.

The picture I drew this from just said tree cave on the file name. That could have been in Nisene, or Jedidiah Smith park, or in Humboldt, or Henry Cowell, or in Booneville, we knew so many redwood trees, and so many tree caves. Who can keep track?

Otterpop was everywhere with me, all the time. It just wasn't possible for us not to be.

I can't count how many photos and drawings. Thousands. That's just the good ones. Too many to have favorites of. Enough to fill fifty books. A hundred books. All the books! Tens of thousands of throwaways, blurry, badly drawn, that now I wished I still had, filling my house to the ceiling, so I have to move like a hoarder, swimming through words and pictures, flapping my arms to make my way across the room.

Otterpop's vet helped us decide what to do, helped her go peacefully to sleep, and Otterpop left on the best note she'd played in a long time. Had a good day, had a good walk at work, had a walk in the park, played with Banksy, chased a ball twice, even though only for about 8" across the grass. She sniffed a lot of things, she still loved to sniff things, and loved to eat. She was skinny, even though I fed her constantly, she still had joy for eating, and would still find a way to throw herself into the water bowl and spill stuff and fling herself into the washing machine, to knock shit DOWN just to get to her food.

Otterpop was only hanging on for me. We were each other's worlds.

Life had gotten hard for her. All the manic shit that made her Otterpop became larger than her life could hold, and if your life gets large and your body's too small for it eventually you are like, living in a big pulsing explosion of crazy and that's an effed up way to live.

Her favorite thing, the last few months, was if we could hang out on the couch together, she would lay right by me, yeah, maybe she was sedated or just plain exhausted, but those were our good times. So I would watch stupid tv shows where cute kids bake ugly cupcakes to get voted off the island, or house hunting for open concept floor plans and dual vanities, and she would snore and have a little bit of peace.

Then we would stay up all night together a lot of the time, while I would try to put out her crazy fire. This happened a lot. For a long time. Her brain had some disease in it, maybe it always did.

I am lucky to have had an Otterpop. I sure do miss her something horrible. For sure, for better or for worse, I'll never have another one like her, Otterpops are an uncommon variety, one you have to stumble upon, the kind that finds you, and latches on like a viper or a tick, and holds on tight forever.

Otterpop was a huge fan of 80's punk rock. She thrived on Black Flag and the Minute Men. But somehow she's left me with a weird Jerry Garcia fixation, it started the day she died. I remember Santa Cruz feeling hollow when Jerry died, throngs of lost dead heads wandering the streets weeping.

So Otterpop may be sending me a message, actually, of course she is, and she may have already bit Jerry in heaven, so for Otterpop, I lit up from Reno, I was trailed by 20 hounds, didn't get to sleep last night till the morning came around. Set up running but I'll take my time, a friend of the devil is a friend of mine. If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep. Tonight.

A hole in my everythings.


Unknown said...

I totally had an image of Jerry reaching down to give Otterpop a pat and her nipping him. And then him saying "Cool, I get you. It's all good." I'm sorry. I can't picture you without her, she's been ... always.

team small dog said...

yes, i have the exact same picture of her! otterpop's final act apparently is to be jerry garcia's heaven dog, so she can send me messages via his songs. i probably shouldn't repeat that sentence ever again. i guess i need to go tie dye something now. except i'm pretty sure otterpop would not have wanted that!

Anonymous said...

thanks for letting us know. sending hugs thru the ethers. so many of us with holes to contend with, but it's the price we pay for the privilege of having had a familiar... totally worth it.

Anonymous said...

I've been a fan of OP since that day when you all met the coyote family. Prayers for your family.

Helen said...

Oh so sorry, I know how tough it is to make the decision to let them go. I'm sure Otterpop will send you a message, just listen with your heart.

Blondiegirl said...

Not another like Otterpop. I know your heart is broken. It's hard to let them go even when you know it's for the best. It sure doesn't feel like the best. Just know you have many who love you and cry with you.