My sweet summer puppy. How I have loved you since I was 8 years old, how I still love you at 24. You were an old man, even at 1 years old. You preferred a calm night curled in front of a fire or on my lap rather than running to fetch a stick. Your curiosity had you ranging on your leash from in front of me, out to the side, to trying to drag me backward. Or maybe this was just because you didn’t want to go inside yet. You loved the outside, no matter the weather. In the summertime, you dig holes and curl yourself in a bed of dirt and in the winter you make a nest of snow and rest just as comfortably. To others, you appeared calm, mellow and slightly dopey. To us who know you best, we know your mischievous side. We know the husky in you that peers over your shoulder at us when we call you in, then calmly walk into the woods, not to be found for several hours. We know your silliness and your sweetness. Remember that time, one winter, I went to search for you. I found you in the field with snowballs in your feet, too uncomfortable to walk home. Why didn’t you come home earlier before it got this bad? No matter, I broke the clumps free and we walked home in the blue light of evening.
You know Kay, I never thought of you as young, even when you were. And yet, I always call you puppy because to me, you are always my puppy.
The first time I noticed you were getting old was not because of the grey around your muzzle, no. It was that moment I went to call you in. You were sleeping in a patch of sunshine, curled up tightly at the base of the oak tree next to the house. You were not fifty feet from me but no matter how loud I called your name you did not hear me. Frightened, I ran barefoot towards you, acorns stabbing my feet along the way. When my foot was directly next to you and as I reached down to check for your heartbeat your head popped up and you grinned at me, not a care in the world. We returned together to the house, ready for dinner. After that, I noticed, more and more, that you could not hear as well as you used to, despite the fact you kept your ears up to attention. In those years I had to go out and find you sometimes because you no longer heard us call you from the porch.
Ceilidh, despite getting old you still found the energy to frolick down a path, try to keep up when I took a walk and cuddle. Heck, you even tried to chase off bears at one point, though it is hard to say whether or not you knew exactly what was going on or if you were just following your brother, Buddha. I am glad I did not lose you on that day.
I miss you, puppy. Though my journey has taken me far and wide I think of you often and miss your attempts at being a lap dog. As you get older you lose more and more control, I can only imagine how frustrating that must be. I wish I could have been with you more in these last years. Love you so much.