A Good Dog
She never took her eyes off me. If she were to be reincarnated as a human, she’d be a horse trainer in her next life, and a damn good one. She vigilantly watched me for eleven long years and never left my side. She knew exactly when and how to discipline. She was benevolent beyond compare. Even the prey animals were her friends. She found, and in true Lassie style, led us to an abandoned kitten. Then she adopted and loved that little guy like he was her pup.
She possessed ‘kisses’ above her eyes, and I applied liberally on a daily basis. Her chest wore a cross and her tail was tipped in white so she was never lost. Her feet were broad and her toes webbed, although she never saw a reason to swim. Her legs were long enough most bodies could easily be forded.
She took the place of another person next to me at night, giving me love through proximity, and well before I loved a human, she set the perfect example. Hearts appeared in a bubble over her head whenever I spoke to her. She guarded me like a mother, and twice, blindly interfered, risking her life without a second thought.
Her hair was silky and her ears floppy. She was always hot, and years later, I miss her constant panting.
Whatever I asked, she happily obliged. She was born with manners and never needed the confinement of leash or fence. She communicated in pictures and loved like no other I’ve ever met.
I’ve been told a soul is granted two good dogs in a lifetime. My second is now twelve and although she only stands inches high, she embodies the soul of my first love. She too is a tri-colored, fur covered, heart on four feet. I can’t imagine my life without these precious beings who’ve shared it with me. I’ve never been alone because of them. I’ve felt unconditional love because of them, and it’s made me a better person to be welcomed into their pack.
They’ve been my constant companions and best friends. They are great listeners and don’t mind my rambling incoherent thoughts. Their insistence on staying in our moment has balanced me, and when I was at my lowest, they were there when no-one else was. They made me get out of bed when I wanted to disappear, and they added an illumination to my life that a person isn’t capable of offering.
They are my traveling companions and the best, sleep-all-day-Sunday buddies. When I’m sick, they hover and tend. They are uncluttered and present. They are comics and personal trainers. They are emotional, and when I can’t find the joy in life, they remind me where it is. They require very little, and yet, I offer them all I have. I’d skip a meal if it meant they didn’t have to.
Thank you for being the best friends a girl could ever ask for—my heart at my feet. This is dedicated to Garbo, the Bernese Mountain dog who was the first sentient soul to unconditionally love me, and to G, the Corgi, who now shares my pillow every night with little whispers of snoring kisses at my ear.