I Remember

Dear Hemi

I miss you. This house isn't the same without you. When I walk in the door and you aren't there to greet me, my heart breaks all over again. Lately, I've been spending a lot of time thinking about you and your life, our life together.

I remember the first time I saw you. The place you were born wasn't very nice or very clean. You were only three weeks old and your eyes had just opened. You fit in the crooks of my arm. I remember picking you up and falling completely in love with you. You fell asleep while I held you, and your tongue was sticking out of your mouth. You looked like a little Eewok from Star Wars.

I remember going to pick you up. My mom came with me so that I could hold you on the way home. You were scared and shaking but you settled in really fast.

I remember our first Hallowe'en. You must have eaten a piece of pumpkin and had an allergic reaction to it. Your face swelled up, one eye swelled shut (you looked like you'd taken a punch in the eye) and one by one your ears (which were standing up) drooped down like a labs. I had to force feed you Benedryl and you kept spitting it out at me.

I remember our first Christmas together. We took a family picture. You were still growing and looked really awkward because your legs were still short but had become really stocky.

I remember how after I had my first miscarriage I would sit on the couch and cry and you would stand beside me with your head on my lap and just stare at me like you were trying to figure out what was wrong. You even licked my tears when they fell.

I remember how you used to have bouts of hyperactivity. You would run laps through the living room and into the kitchen then back again. When you'd reach the front mat you would paw at the ground like an angry bull, crouched down and ready for more fun.

I remember as soon as you would hear the word cottage you would go ballistic. You would play fetch the entire time we were there. You had so much energy that people had to take turns throwing the ball for you.

I remember the first summer we took you to the lake. We went for a canoe ride and you tried to follow us in the water. We didn't notice you till we were halfway across the lake.

I remember when I got pregnant with Mac, how protective you were with me. You wouldn't let strangers near me and you even attacked other dogs when they got close to me.

I remember after I had Mac and the three of us would walk together. You always made sure you were between him and anyone or anything that got close to us.

I remember the pine-scented smell of your fur when I hugged you.

I remember taking you with me for groceries just so you could ride in the car with me. You were the best copilot.

I've had dreams about you almost every night. This house is empty without you. I miss you.
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