Hi. Good Morning. I know that every morning you wake up and we do our usual routine.
You toss and you turn; you groan; your feet hit the floor. You mutter my name and a quick hello as you pass by me. You walk into the kitchen and you turn on the coffee pot. Our eyes don’t meet just yet, as you are still recovering from your late night of binging on that show on Netflix.
What was it called again?
Orange is the New Black? House of Cards? DareDevil?
I have no idea. All I know is that while you were intently watching it, I was sitting right by your side, just enjoying our time together.
The coffee machine turns off, and you begin to pour your morning beverage. You slowly turn to face me and I hear you mumble the word ‘outside’. My tail begins to wag, because to you it may just be a typical everyday chore. To me, every day and every moment with you is an adventure.
We go outside, and you stand there laughing at me because I’m still desperately trying to catch that dang squirrel. What? He’s on MY territory, right?
To you, it may seem silly. To me, your laughter is music to my ears. Please don’t ever stop laughing with me. That way I know I’m doing something right, I’m making you happy. I’m doing what I was born to do.
We go back inside and you say your ‘hello’ to the cat. She begins to affectionately rub herself on you, and after a few minutes, you gently push her away.
To you, she’s being ‘a little annoying’, but to her, she is just spreading her love for you.
You look over at the clock and you get ‘that’ face. I know that face, I’ve seen it before. I feel your worry and I sense your stress.
You rush to the bedroom and you begin changing your clothes. The cat and I sit there and watch you. We know what this means. You’re going to be leaving us, just for a little while.
You grab your bag, give us one final look and say ‘I’ll be back’ and then the door closes. The cat jumps up on the couch and curls into a ball. I lay down on the floor, with my head on my paws, already missing you.
I remember the first time I watched you ‘leave’. You kissed my head goodbye, put me in my crate and then you were gone. I cried and cried and cried. I thought you left me. I began backtracking all the horrible things I did that day, to see if I could remember exactly what I did.
Was it because I went potty on the floor? But it was an accident!
Was it because I stole food off of the table? I couldn’t help it! It smelt so good!
Was it because I chased the cat? Aw, come on! She chased me first!
Just when I was about to lose hope, there you were! You came back to me! My tail could not wag fast enough; and now I’ve learned this is just a regular routine. You’ll come back to us. You’ll come back to me.
The hours grow long and my eyes get heavy. I miss you, and so does the cat. I know you’ll be coming home ANY minute, but it honestly seems like forever.
Finally, I hear your footsteps. I hear the jangling of those keys I stole off the nightstand so many times. The cat jumps off the couch and my ears perk up. There you are!
My heart is pounding so fast, and my paws are dancing with excitement. To you, I look like a silly oaf who is way too happy to see you. To me, my entire world just walked back into my life. You laugh, kiss my head and say my name. You pick up the cat and give her love also.
“Do you wanna play?”, you ask?
DO I? Why, Yes!!
You start throwing that tennis ball while multi-tasking and petting the cat. I hear her purr with delight as I jump up and seize the ball.
I sprint back to you, unable to contain my excitement. We play for an hour, but it only seems like a few minutes. We all eat our dinner together and then my favorite part of the night comes. Lying on the couch, curled up next to you and the cat.
You have that TV show on again. A part makes you jump, and even wince a little. Immediately my head goes up and I’m ready to protect you. You laugh, and pat me head, telling me that it is okay. It may seem silly to you, but you’re my world. I look over at the cat. You’re OUR world.
I know there will come a day when more people will enter your life. Friends. A Husband. A Wife. Children.
Eventually, I will grow old. My face will change color, getting that ashy color. You know, that typical senior dog trait.
I won’t be able to chase that ball as many times, but I will damn well do my best. There will be a time when you may have to carry me up the steps. There will be times when I just lay there, looking at you. The love in my eyes will be the exact same as when we first met, maybe even more.
The cat will age too, but she is still going to look at you with those same eyes as me. We love you.
Despite how bad my habits will be, or how I will grow, I want you to know that we will always love you unconditionally. No matter how many ‘timeouts’ or ‘bad dog/bad kitty’ comments we may receive, nothing will stop us from loving you.
When we are gone, and across that rainbow bridge, just know that even though we may no longer feel your warm embrace, our paw prints will remain on your heart forever.
We are not gone. We are always here.
Julia recently published her first novel, titled; Anomic. She is currently co-authoring a novel called ‘Snow Falls’. She has a B.A in Communications with concentrations in Professional Writing and Public Relations. She is also in the United States Army Reserves as a Military Police Officer, and is currently in the process of going back to school for her Masters Degree in Business. When she isn’t writing, she is co-owner of a film production studio called ‘Valentine Productions LLC’ and she frequently spends her weekends acting in films, or being a stuntwoman.