The first week you took it upon yourself to haul one of my barn boots up the steps to the second floor. I didn’t know why. I still don’t know why. But I let you as it kept you blessedly busy.
I could do some work as I listened to the boot slowly thunk up one stair after another. Then a pause before thump-thump-thump it would fall back to the foyer floor after you had adjusted your grip, I image. I’d hear your frustrated growls as you rushed to chase after it only to start again. Backward. Backward up the steps. It was an impossible task for a young pup but you are defined by ignoring of my perceived limits for you.
One day I noticed that the thumping had stopped. I pushed away from the keyboard to peer around the corner. There the boot stood in second floor hallway. You had succeeded. And, having succeeded, you were on to other things.
All crates were yours. Any dog who dared walk past one had to deal with a black tri arrow shooting over, under or around them that slid into the back of the crate and came out teeth flashing. You forced me to do something I had never done before or since – upend every crate I had so the doors pointed skyward while you and I sorted that one out. One in a long procession of things we have sorted out.
But your unexpectedness, your intensity, your intelligence and your pure determination were my gifts. Gifts like the sand in the oyster that slowly forms the pearl. Annoying as all get out but, in the long run, makes beauty.
When my life unraveled and I could take one dog with me into a painful time, you were the one. And better company I could not have had for that rocky ride. And when my life reformed into something wonderful, we journeyed into the new stage – together.
And when the time comes that I must kiss you good-bye, I hope many years from now, we will do that together, too. It will be my great honor and huge grief to be there; whispering your name and my love as you go. But until then, my imp dog, my meerkat, my Pipereenie, you have my heart.
You earned it.
The day we find our dogs is called the “Gotcha Day!” and eight years ago you got me good, little one. You got me good.