My heart says that she went off,
found a quiet spot,
But my head still turns
at every rustle in the bushes,
every distant bark,
every knock or click or bump.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been letting her ride in the car with us
like I used to when she was a puppy.
I remember this one time – oh, it brings tears of joy to my eyes even now –
I left the pups in the car when I went in to pay for gas
(Back when you had to – gasp – go inside to pay)
And she put her two front paws on the horn and honked
until I finally came back out to find
a big dog grin, tongue out and her little nubbin tail wagging as hard as it could.
And her silly sister sitting beside her with that dopey smile on her face.
I remember when she bit Marshall.
He playfully tried to pop my behind.
She never bit another soul.
I remember how it took her approximately 8 hours
to outsmart the dog-proof trashcan.
I remember how she’d crawl under the crib
while the babies were sleeping.
I remember how I bought costumes for the dogs one Halloween
and she ate hers.
I remember how she’d squirm on the ground,
scratch her back and smiling.
And how she’d flop on the floor with at big sigh
and that one back leg tucked under.
I remember the time I was lounging in the hammock
and BOOM she jumped right up into my lap.
I remember how she hated the snow.
All 2″ of it.
I remember the beauty of her when she ran,
all muscle and speed.
And I remember how many times Marshall chased her and lost.
(Especially that one time when he full-body lunged at her and missed.
She and I were both amused.
He was not.)
I remember how she used to chase a light ’round and ’round and ’round
and if you ran the light up the side of the fence,
she’s go right up it, too.
I remember how her breath was always awful
and how she smelled like Doritos when she was wet.
(I never understood that).
I remember how fiercely she loved me and I her.
How, when she was around, I felt safe.
I remember how many tears she caught in those long, long days
of med school, residency, and early motherhood.
Fourteen years is a long time to have a shadow.
And now that the sun has set on her lifetime,
the darkness has stolen it away.
One day I may love another dog.
But it’ll never be the same.
I miss you, Maggie moo…