My Amazing Companion - Always there
In Loving Memory of Earl
For the past ten years he's been there with me. Gently placing his front paws on my bedside in the morning as soon as he heard my breathing change. Greeting me with a little orange ball in his mouth when I came home at night. He'd look at me with a special glean in his eye, following me around the house relentlessly with that damn ball until I agreed to play. Sometimes it was our own special game of tag - chasing each other around the coffee table. Sometimes that ball wasn't to be found, so he'd run off on a search on not return until he had found it - no matter where it was, he always did. He seemed to always know where it was. The searching for it was part of the game for him. Finding it meant we'd spend more time together - two kids doing something which we knew an adult might disapprove. I'd always tire first. He'd keep going as long as I was willing.
Rarely out of sight, or perhaps smell. He was always there. On those days and nights when he seemed to know I needed just a little more affection and love he would sleep on the floor next to me. I read the paper and wrote in my journal every morning with him resting at my feet. I couldn't even take out the trash without him following me - as if he was going to miss something. Getting the paper in the morning, he was there. Always there.
Regal. Playful. Funny. Smart. Intuitive and kind. Full of more love and affection than one person could ever hope for. Not eating unless I was there. Waiting for me by the door when I was not. For ten years, we loved, lived and supported each other through life's good times and bad. Always there.
What an amazing dog. Our synchronicity was uncanny - or should I say un-canine.
I no longer hear his nails on the hardwood floor. His ball seems lonely. He no longer shreds the mail when it gets pushed through the slot. I no longer hear his barking at a distant foe. Nor do I see him chasing the squirrels up the trees or just watching them intently from afar. Whatever his distraction, he was always there.
He loved trips in the car - perhaps, because he was going with me and not being left behind. Perhaps as a reward, he'd walk up from behind and tickle my ear with his tongue, "Thanks for bringing me this time Dad!" And he always seemed to know when it was a trip he was joining. I'd even intentionally try to fool him - it never worked. He always knew.
How does one say good-bye? The only way seems to be with gratitude. Gratitude that, for the past ten years, he was always there.