One of my New Year’s resolutions is to keep paying $10 a month to Planet Fitness for another three years and to never go. A diet of rice cakes, pickles and spicy mustard sandwiches has been doing a fine enough job of maintaining my waistline. (Although my nails are splitting from malnutrition, so maybe I should pack gummy vitamins or a protein bar into the ricewich.)

I will quit smoking this year.

I will make my home my own again by embellishing it with all my weird vintage shit that made its way into a corner of the garage a decade ago.

I will never get another dog.

Right before Christmas, we had to say goodbye to our Good Boy Clyde. He was the ultimate Good Boy. The Best Boy. We adopted him from Denver’s Dumb Friends League in 2012 with his non-biological sister Abby. The pair occupied the shelter for a spell; their irresponsible human turned them in because they outgrew her apartment. We were told they were eight (but later learned Clyde and Abby were four and six, respectively). They came as a pair and were glorious, magnificent beasts.

We were told that many who strolled through the shelter pleaded to adopt only Abby, a glowing white statuesque Great Pyrnees mix, but the shelter refused to separate the siblings. Abby and Clyde were the best $100 I’ve ever spent. (Old dog discount, give it a try.)

We lost Abby two years ago, and December marked Clyde’s passing. A Saint Bernard mix, Clyde was the most adorable, goofy-looking chap. One ear was always upright and the other always flopped over. His giant paws were four different sizes, making for a clumsy fellow who tripped over his own big feet.

He was so fiercely loyal. He guarded my side of the bed, and when his human sister arrived into the world he would pace, questioning with his big, deep amber eyes: Which one should I protect? If my kid and I weren’t sitting next to each other, he’d plop himself directly centered between the two of us, indecision plaguing him. He’d routinely soak his dad’s face with kisses.

Clyde shadowed me everywhere. Even when he was in his ultimate cozy zone, sprawled atop his fleece blankets that covered his plush dog bed, when I’d leave the couch, he’d pop up and follow me. Near the end, it was difficult watching his attempts to rise from the floor. I’d often wait until he was in a deep slumber, then tiptoe out of the room, lest to disturb his creaky joints.

I’ve lost three dogs in a decade, all three were rescued older companions. I know I’m a human who can and should give shelter dogs a forever home, but the heartbreak is so intense. I can’t even convince myself to pick up Clyde’s ashes. It took me six months to find the strength to pick up Abby’s ashes.

I’ll likely change my mind about caring for another dog one day, but right now my heart aches with force. New year, blue me.

I won’t sugarcoat life, shit sucks right now. Clyde went downhill so fiercely fast, I’ve barely been able to process his departure. His death was a hard hit to an already depressing holiday season.

Whoever is testing me is winning. And it’s getting old.

I ask you, dear Fantz in Your Pantsers, to allow me cry it out for one more week. I promise I’ll talk dirty to you again like the good ol’ days. My Boulder Silver Foxes recently inquired about manscaping, so I’ll pull my shit together and we can discuss whether or not you should shave your balls and knit me a handkerchief.

Go invest in a good razor and I’ll go invest in some happy pills. We’ll regroup next week. Break.

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