I remember 15 years ago, coming home from my honeymoon and meeting you. You were a fluff of black and white fur, and obviously the cutest pupper-dog ever ever. Your energy was unbounded. We all practiced the “dominance hold” with your head under our arm, as we taught you that we were the boss. But mostly we just played with you, pet you and snuggled you. I didn’t get to live with you, Breeze, but I loved you like a dog-sister. I loved you for your quiet tail-wagging and your loud barking (only when you had something to say). I loved you for your soft fluffy-ness, and your soft demeanor with my children ever since they were babies. I loved the way you growled as you played with your hard plastic ball in the backyard. That indestructible ball was all yours. I loved the way you chased tennis balls, and pulled on the leash to go where you wanted to, but always tried to listen. I loved how you knew when it was time to go hang out at the farm when mom and dad were going on vacation. I love the way you loved us when we came to hang out.
We walked over this morning to say goodbye. L was crying before we even left our house. Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. We pet you and scritched your soft head. I think you knew. We tried not to cry, tried to stay strong for you. I wanted to say goodbye, but I didn’t want you to be scared of leaving. Aunt C came too and sat down next to you. She scratched your head and said “Oh Breeze. We’ll see you on the other side, girl.”
None of us wanted to leave to go to school. Leaving meant that it was real, that we wouldn’t get to snuggle you. I spent the drive to school crying. Thoughts popped in my brain; your fluffy puppy days, how it has been so long since I’ve heard you bark, seen you jump or play.
. . .
At school, I go outside for recess and look up in the clouds. I imagine you romping around, like you used to love to romp in the snow. The snow. It just stopped being cold, and you won’t get to play in the warm weather ever again. I hope there are ways to get scratched and snuggled, walked and played with wherever you are.
So many people talk about loyal dogs and masters. I’m sure you were loyal, and I know my parents were in charge where you were concerned… but I don’t believe animals have owners. I do believe you were our dog, though. You are part of our family. Always.