You were and have been and still are love of my life, even though you are to the rest of the world nothing but a dead dog. Isn’t that funny that my soul mate turned out to be an animal? It makes sense. I am just an animal too. Frankly, I think you got the short end of the soulmate stick. You could have done much better than me, although you wouldn’t have found anyone who could have loved you more. I loved you more than anything. I love you still. More than words can express.
I wanted to say hello to you, and let you know that three years on after your death, I think of you always. You reside in my mind, where there is a window in my soul, the sun of my heart shining into it, and you lay right in the warmest spot, your long body stretching in the heat, no pain in your hips.
I look for you in the morning, every day, my hand reaching instinctively over on the side of the bed, where you once lay beside me, knowing I couldn’t leave the bed without waking you, why you selected that spot when you first came and stayed there for your entire dog life. Of course, you’re never there, and its been three years but I forget, and every morning I reach for nothing, my futile reach. If only my arms were long enough to reach you where you are now. I will continue reach for you, morningtime groggy grabbing at nothing, until finally in death I will find you once more. There will come a morning where I will not wake, and that is the day we will meet again.
Bronwyn and Gudrun, your dog siblings, do well in your absence. I can’t tell if they miss you, but my grief clouds everything. All I do is miss you. Yesterday Bronwyn got down to that space under the house where you kept all your secret toys, your beloved tennis balls, your big bitey rubber tire. I hadn’t been down there since your death. Your daddy and I couldn’t go down there. It hurt too badly to clean it out. It hurt too much to admit you were not returning to us. We left it. we pretended it didn’t exist, then pretended silently that you were coming back. That was the only way to cope with your loss, to tell lies to ourselves. The inestimable loss of you, it took nearly all of what we had inside to get by, to get through it. You were our son. You will always be.
I went down to help Bronwyn climb back up, as she’s not nearly as nimble as you were, and can’t come up on her own. I saw all your precious tennis balls you had stored down there, muddy little green treasures, packed into the crawl space as if it were your tomb, as if you were a grand Egyptian king, your pleasures neatly laid out for you alongside your sarcophagus, so you might have them in the afterlife. I think I might move your ashes down there, to reunite you with your things, but that would mean I would have to move them from your old bed, and I can’t bear to part with them. Not yet my love. Not yet my Ralph.