Good night, Ceeter Cotter

Puppies2This afternoon, I was in the midst of a sunny, warm outing to the Adam’s Morgan Day Festival with a couple of friends, when I got a call from my mom – and immediately knew something was wrong. “Casey’s gone,” she said. My world stopped. Casey, my little tri-colored corgi, “Ceeter Cotter,” as we nicknamed him – was gone.

The world around me kept moving. People were laughing with their friends, admiring art from the vendors, petting their dogs. A violinist was playing next to me. My head was swimming though, as I was looking desperately for the friends I came with, trying to comprehend that my 11-year old “brother” suddenly had to be put to sleep today because he could barely breathe from tumors that had clogged up his lungs.

A couple days ago, he was fine.

caseyI’ve cried a lot today. I cried all the way home in the cab while on the phone with my mom, in denial that Casey boy won’t be there to greet me when I get home at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I cried on the phone to my boyfriend, to my best friend since 7th grade, to a colleague. I cried to myself in bed, clutching my stuffed animal Casey, the one that also doesn’t breathe like the real one no longer does.

And now, because I’m utterly at a loss of what else I should be doing, I’m writing. And crying as I write this. This is my way – I need to get it out of the way, so that I don’t have to pretend I’m happy and perky for a few days. So that whoever reads this just knows, and knows that I’m not going to be myself for a little while, because I just lost a huge part of me.

Anyone that knows me, knows how important my dogs are to me. If you’ve seen the dozen or more pictures pinned to my cube walls, if you’ve heard me talk about “The Boys.”  As an only child, they really have been my brothers through their 11 years. After losing my first dog Rocky, when I was 13, we got Harrison, a puppy, and then Casey a year later. They’re brothers.

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What is it that makes you YOU?

We’ve all heard this question over the years, or variations of it. What makes you different from everyone else? What makes you most you? Write an acrostic with each letter of your name starting a word that describes you…and so forth.

Well tonight I was reminded of that question. It wasn’t from a teacher or a counselor or even a prospective employer. It was from a friend, but it was right on. I’m at a point where I’m learning my way around in my profession, at my place of work, in this city, in my relationships. There are plenty of people just a few years older than me that are the “go-to” for a particular subject – because they own it and know it inside out and they have really made a name for themselves on it. I can say I know a lot about corgis, or Cajun cooking, or Jane Austen books or Frank Sinatra, but I’m still trying to figure out what that one interest area is that I want to work on for years and years as a job, as a passion – that people will come to me for. We all want to be recognized for something we know, right?

What is the area you feel you want to be the go-to for? What will you do to get to that point?