I have dreaded this day all month, and I have dreaded this month all year. December has never been high on my list of faves, and you certainly sealed that opinion when you charged off over the bridge in December. It has now been two years since you raced on without us. (There is a bridge, isn’t there? Please for the love of all that’s holy tell me that there is.)
I miss you.
You got the last laugh, DD. It actually didn’t take me long to realize that, even as dense as I can be. For 10 years you listened to me tell people that you were not the dog of my heart (oh no), you were the pity pup–the one we took home because we couldn’t bear to drive by and leave it in the road. After all, once someone holds you in their lap in a dirty ditch and cries over you, how can they possibly leave you? A pity pup for sure. But a heart dog? No, you’d not ever be my heart dog.
And then you were.
And so you laugh. I’m pretty sure of that. But the gentleman jerk that you were probably only chuckles a tad. You were never one to rub anything in too hard. You were the forgiver, the peacemaker (unless it was a strange dog, of course), the snuggler, the shy and sly willing-to-come-last devotee. You were my satellite, and I was your sun. You put me at your center, a place I knew full well that you put me, but a place I knew I really did not deserve to be.
And all the while, you self-consciously and gently led, and led, and led some more. And I got less stupid.
Buddy boy, let me tell you what I’ve learned: You were the master and I was the grasshopper. Well played, my friend. Well played.
She’s just not as good at it as you were, buddy. Look at the picture down there, dude. She’s simply not as good at it as you were.
In the first place, she doesn’t look up when we come inside. She’s so submissive, so she looks down and wiggles. You were submissive, too, but you lifted your head to look at us briefly. Little eye contact, of course, but we understood that about you.
And then there’s the tail issue. We could hear your mighty tail thumping all the way up the stairs, beating out a rhythm of welcome. She has no real tail, nothing to make noise with.
Don’t get me wrong–we love her as much as you did and we are taking very good care of her. She’s your baby, after all. But she’s not you. Nobody else is you. And now, 2 days short of 15 months after you hustled out of our lives, I still get tears in my eyes thinking about you, especially about your departure. Anyway, I love you, sweet potato.
If I’d known how much of my heart you would take when you left, would I have let you knit yourself into the fabric of my heart so tightly that your absence would unravel so much? I would. It’s mending, sweet boy. And it was worth it. All of it and then some. We’d stop the car again. We’d make the long ride home again. We’d take the leg again. You were really never any trouble at all, DD.
my momma lady and i wuz talkin. well, she did all the talkin. i am a bery good lissner. i don’t do what she sez but i lissen. i am not a bery good doer. there is a diffrence. i am digressing.
momma lady sed hey evelyn you are such a good pain in the ass you should give lessons. and i thawt that wuz a grate idea! i can give any tripawds lessons on how to be the bery best pain in the ass! what do you think?
here is my
rezume vitay sperience qualifikashuns how come:
i sniffed the grandpup all the time and violated her privacy.
i sniffed her pants a lot cuz they wuz nice.
when my pop would go pee i would get in his warm spot and then i would pretend i could not hear him say move over.
i did it a lot.
i also took up too much room on the couch. my momma lady sed i oozed into her territory.
i did not respect the peeple boundries.
i made the sad eyes when the dishwasher was open cuz i hoped they would let me lick the plates. i wuz in the way all the dam time. that is what my momma lady sed.
so there you go! call me if you want lessons. i give them for free and i am vailable all the time!
A year ago today we lost you. And we really lost you. It doesn’t seem like a year, even though a lot has happened. But the loss of you is still pretty big. I’ve lost other dogs, D, which you know–but your absence has felt bigger to me. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to decide why that is. I think it’s because of what I felt from the start: You got cheated. You had more years in you and you didn’t get to use them. And I got cheated out of you.
I am still satisfied with your life. You had a wonderful life and I know that. I know absolutely that we took good care of you and that you had a ball. For all but the last year of your life you had 38 acres to explore, and you marked every inch. You had your precious meadow that was your private playground, and you policed it mercilessly, keeping every rabbit, field mouse and vole in line. And when we moved and gave up acres, you gained territory with more rabbits. You had a good life.
You had a Man who rescued you, who didn’t blink over how much lopping off your leg would cost, who said repeatedly that you were family. You had a Boy who intrigued you and provided you with things to wonder about. And you had other dogs to love on. You had Evelyn to love, and she had you to absolutely worship. And you had me.
And I still miss you. I wish you were still here tripping me at the top of the stairs so I could cuss you. You were a pain in the ass in many respects but you were my sidekick and the nicest pain in the ass I’ve ever known.
We are having a birthday pawty today, and I’m sorry you aren’t here for the sardines. Evelyn is 5 today. I know you don’t care because your relationship with her was often ambivalent. I don’t blame you for that at all, sweet boy. She is the best worst dog we’ve ever lived with. We will give her the sardines today and remind her to think about you, but I can’t make any promises that she will. The humans, however, think about you often. How could we not? If you have celebrations where you are, go party hard for the worst roommate ever and have fun. You deserve that and so much more.