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.
On the sixth month anniversary of your death, I am practicing remembering your life with gratitude. It is a deliberate choice and it’s hard. It is easy to feel anger at those who abused you but harder to think it’s their loss that they didn’t know what you could become. For me, anyway.
Part of my exercise in deliberate gratitude has been to look at many pictures of your life. They do make me smile. I want to share them with everyone here so they can smile, too, and help me remember how lucky we were that you chose us. Thank you, my golden sweet potato. (And how fitting that the pictures I chose are snow pictures. You loved your snow so much!)
the other nite i scared the humans. it was a lot of fun! we all went to bed. then i started coffing and choking. i did it on purpus. my momma lady getted out of her warm bed and watched me and talked to me and paid a lot of tention to me. i liked it. so i kept doing it. i hid from her, though, and she could not see my face and that made her worried. she opened my mouth to see if something was stuck in my throte but i did not like that. it made me barf some.
my momma lady taked me outside and i paced and paced and pretended to be rilly uncumftra, um, not feeling good. i don’t knoe how to spell it, but i pretended good. so she put me in the car and taked me to the mergency v-e-t. my plan backfired. i did not want to do that. i only wanted pets and kisses.
i was so nervus at the mergency v-e-t. shaky shaky shaky. slobbers all over the place. i had a miracle! i made the coffing stop. they still taked a picture of my lungs and neck. they said i looked fine. now please pay $250. then they say if you wanna leave her we can watch her and you can pay more money. my momma lady said no thanks i can watch her for free.
so now i am a mystery. cept my momma lady is pretty sure i was pretending and went too far. i can’t tell. if i do, i mite get in trubble.