Sunday, July 13, 2008
For once in my life, words have failed me.
Many people will tell you that the death of a beloved pet is sad, but "just a bad part of life." To me, it is an injustice. It is pure heartache and sorrow.
You see, you weren't just a dog to me. You were my dog. Ever since I saw you prancing on the wooden porch out in the country, that sweet white streak down your nose, I knew you were mine. I would spend hours in the garage that winter with both you and Rascal curled in my lap, watching your tiny tummies rise and fall. You were always there to greet me in the laundry basket when Mom picked me up from high school. Later, you were always out to greet me from a night out. Your stubby tail would wave from the fence, your pink tongue flapping enthusiastically.
Of course, you lived up to your name. Walks were to be tolerated solely for my benefit. If you were tired, you'd simply plop down on the pavement and demand to be taken home. You would only wear pink and rhinestone collars and expected only the best of doggie treats. During breakfast and dinner, you whined and slobbered and shivered at the window. Since I was, and still am, a sucker, I'd sneak outside to feed you parts of my dinner. You took a great delight in being pulled around in the wagon in the backyard, and wanted to be carried whenever possible.
But the thing that kills me most about your untimely death, was that you were always there for me. And I wasn't for you. When I went off to college, you were still waiting at the gate whenever I pulled in the driveway. When I got married and moved down to San Antonio, you were always lying outside the patio windows watching my old room in hopes I might emerge. When I brought the new babies up to meet you, you were gracious enough not to mention Bitty looked like a Squirrel.
However, when you needed me most, I wasn't there for you.
Of course, people will tell me that's the way of things. Kids grow up and get married. They go to school. They move on. You're just a dog, not a child or a spouse.
But, you were my dog. No matter what I did or said, you loved me. Whether I forgot to feed you or dragged you on two mile walks in the hundred degree heat, you were always ready for kisses and snuggles. Even after I moved away, you wiggled just at the sight of my hand reaching down to pet you.
It wasn't right.
It wasn't fair.
And I only wish I could have scratched your belly one last time.
I love you, Princess. I hope you realized I loved you as much as you loved me. I just wish I had showed it better.