I wake to the chirping of midnight crickets. Your head is pressed against my shoulder; we breathe together, in and out, in and out. We share a bed and I sometimes move to the floor to give you more space because I love you, more than a good night’s sleep…I smell your fur, pines commingled with salt water and cow poop; your whiskers brush my cheek and I cry, it is our final weekend together. I know you aren’t dying, but I will never see you again, so my heart dies a little each time I think of you, my lazy, loving, majestic Arya.
Before I knew you, I didn’t want a dog.
I thought, your hair will get on my clothes,
You will ruin my social life, my training, my sleep.
I’ll be allergic to you;
You may not like me.
The day I went to see you, I didn’t want a puppy.
Puppies had to be trained,
and I didn’t have time for all that.
Then you walked into my life, sat at my feet, stared into my eyes, and loved me.
I know when you want to play; you chomp the air and chuff like a tiger.
I know when you are tired; your neck gets shorter and shorter as your head rests heavier into your chest, then you struggle to keep your eyes open as you drift off.
I know when you are feeling scared; you curl into a tiny ball of 100# of fur and push your nose into your tail like there is an imaginary snowstorm on the way.
I know when you are hungry; you sit in the kitchen and stare at the refrigerator, or the magic food box, as I imagine you call it.
I know when you are nervous; you tuck your tail between your legs and refuse to let anyone pet you.
I know when you are happy; you smile huge and jump around all floppy like an oversized rabbit.
You hate bikes more than fish hate dry land.
You think you are a cat.
You want to eat all the birds.
You love dog friends more than you love humans.
You rarely look into cameras.
You sit for dried mangos,
Eating grass is your diversionary tactic;
Being off-leash is your way of living the FREEEEEEDOM scream that echoed at the end of Braveheart through everyone’s souls…
Chasing big “chuck-it” balls, especially ones that aren’t yours, is definitely your cup of tea.
As you fall asleep your nose drips onto the ground from atop your perch on the bed.
Your breathing slows.
You start to twitch.
You dream those doggie dreams…
Maybe you have caught the bird?
Maybe your are the bird?
or the cat…
YOU are flying, running, barking; ingesting all the ice cream in your perfect doggie dream world; you are the predator, the stalker and catcher of all the rabbits.
You are a song to me Arya; everything you think, all you do, all you love and hate, I know it and breathe it too.
Before I knew you I thought I didn’t want you; today I cry knowing that our time together is over.
Now that I know you…
I like your hair on my clothes because it reminds me of your silly lean; that lean you do when you are tired and just need a little help standing up.
I love taking you to the gym; you always lick me during the hard sets and make me smile
You are the only one who camps and rucks with me consistently; and appreciates stopping for snacks and watching the bugs fly by.
You’ve made me a better athlete,
I’m not even allergic to you!
I thought you wouldn’t love me, but I know you do because you sit on my feet when I’m going to the bathroom and lick my face in the morning and run right next to me in the woods and fart in my face when I’m sleeping and stick your head between my legs on walks and bark at me when I try to walk away and put your paw on my hand when we sleep and dig holes with me at the beach and lie on the ground with me when I am crying and lick my tears away and you are my copilot and you plank with me even though it is hard and you always want to sit with me even though you are as big as a horse…
You are my silly friend, my workout partner, my rucking buddy, my camping companion, my co-pilot, my doggie love, and no, I was not planning on eating that, you can have it A-dog.
You are a song to me Arya, always in my heart, forever.