We brought Sammy and Charlie home in December 2002. James brought Sammy home on Friday, December 13th. I wasn't home-I was spending the night in Salem so I wouldn't have to drive down first thing Saturday morning to take the Oregon State Tax Preparers License exam (I got a 95% on it, which was the high score that year. I don't know how many of us received that score). So I missed Sammy's first night home but I do believe a bond was formed between the two of them. Sammy has always been pretty equal opportunity but he did seem to slightly favor James. We brought Charlie home the following weekend. It wasn't our plan to get them so close together but the first week Sammy was home, James had to go to the coast to train a company on how to use the MV-90 metering system. I took that week off work and by the time he got home, neither Sammy nor I would stop crying. So we got a friend for Sammy. Charlie has been my dog since the first moment I picked him up, although I would tell James Charlie was his dog too.
At this point, we had been together for just under 3 years, were living in our first house and everyone we met just assumed we were married. We didn't correct them. So I'm not really sure if it was this assumption or another miscommunication at the vet's office when we went in for the first time that led to our account name. We decided it would be best if both our names were on the account so either of us could bring the dogs in without any hassles. Somehow instead of the account being under Heather G and James R, it ended up as James & Heather R/G. We never corrected it.
When James died, they took him off the account. Because I was facing the possibility of having to prove my relationship with James was more than just roommates, I had them add it back. Once things got settled legally, I left it on there. They are still his dogs after all. But lately, I was having a hard time remembering his name came first on the account. A sign of healing or forgetting him, I don't know. So when Charlie was going through his ordeal last month, I had one of the girls that knew us both and knew what happened take him off the account. I told her it's been 2 1/2 years. I don't think he's going to rise from the dead.
That was one of the harder things I have done. It's weird to call them with just my name; it's weird to see just my name on all the paperwork. I wanted to keep one of the pill bottles from one of Charlie's (many) prescriptions from the infection and subsequent surgery because I realized it's the last time our names will appear together. Even though I have them together on other things, there's something about it being the last time that makes it hard to part with.
In my heart, they are still as much his dogs as they are mine and always will be. The name on the account is just a formality. But once again, I feel I have erased another part of him. That's something I don't think I am ever going to get used to.