Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The quiet hole in my life....

For almost week now there has been a quiet hole in my heart.... the shape of a medium sized sheltie with a perfect white neck mane and tummy and a white stripe up his muzzle, a brown sable body and fluffy long tail, and the sound of a high pitched bark are cut out in rough cookie-cutter shapes from my life, and it aches with tenderness.

I knew I loved him from when he came in our front door a tiny little fluff ball that came home from work with dad and stayed for 11 years. His first weekend with us, I snuck him out of his kennel and into my room so we could play at my sleepover and that was it, I was in love with my dog. Duncan was brilliant and I'm not just biased! He required very little training and was smart enough to 'heel' without a leash. The standard dog tricks he seemed to do just to please us but it was always clear he thought himself too good for 'laying down' and 'rolling over' although we did it repeatedly to make him sneeze.

I'm not home yet but I know when I walk through the gate and he's not sitting there barking and waiting for me to notice him, the tears will come back - he was the most excited one to see me every time I came home. Without sounding like a Hallmark card, I need to list or rather describe those things that I miss now and will always miss from the dog that I loved like a member of the family. I never expected it to hurt this bad...

his ears were the softest part of his body and they showed his character more than any other part as well - when he wanted food they perked up, if we said 'w-a-l-k' they stood up straight, if he was 'asking' a question with his head, they would flop over in the middle - picture perfect.

He loved to give me 'kissies' he knew I hated being licked, so he would just tap my face with his nose and nuzzle me.

Recently he's been my companion at sunset walking to the seminary or downtown San Anselmo - so eager to walk and loving every compliment of "what a handsome dog!" (Which he heard all the time)

When you rolled him on his back he would make 'rat face' and his bottom teeth would show - after a few seconds of tummy-rubbing, he would inevitably flip back over and sneeze violently which we found hilarious. He was so eager to please but he loved to be loved on - little grunting and talking noises while you pet him and talked to him - as if he really wanted to communicate.

I loved to towel dry him when it rained - I would wrap a bath towel around him and just rub him all fluffy dry...he loved it too.

I really do sound like a Hallmark card and maybe this isn't a good idea.....I'll come back to it.