Where do I begin?
I keep hearing her. I swear I do. I hear a rustle. I hear her tags clinking when she stirs and gets up and shakes. I hear the sound of a muffled bark, very quiet. The sound she made when she was having her magnificent doggy dreams. When she was tracking whatever she was tracking, or protecting us from whatever she was protecting us from.......a common, nearly every day or every night sound. My beloved Bessy having her nighttime dreams. And how crazy is it that that dogs dream?? I mean really. They dream. I heard her bark in her sleep hundreds of times more than she ever barked while she was awake. What a good girl.
In the middle of the night I stir, as many of us do at my age. My first thought is to get up and go check on her. Often just creeping out of the bedroom quietly and looking to see where she was. Usually she was curled up in a circle, on a lumpy old bed we bought her at Costco in my home office. In the faint light, she'd lift up her head and her tail would give a few wags, and I'd tell her "good girl Bess, good girl". Then she would settle and so would I. If it was windy or stormy, she'd curl up next to my side of the bed on the floor, and I'd have to be careful not to step on her when I got our of bed. Now it takes a few moments to remember that she's not here anymore.
When I wake first thing in the morning, I get still and listen for her sounds. Is she still asleep? In these recent weeks I'd been attempting to be as quiet as I could, so she could sleep as late as possible. Hoping she was pain free in her sleep. Then I remember she's gone and I don't have to worry about waking her, or worry about how much pain she's in, or worry about how all this is going to end because a week ago tonight, my wonderful furry companion went to sleep.......
It was peaceful, and when I have the strength I can write about that, but for now all I can bring myself to say is that God created these incredible furry creatures, that creep into our hearts and lives and give us just what we need, just when we need it. And right now it feels like I will never love one of them as much as I loved Bessy.
But perhaps that's not true.