Your old pack is acting strangely: the four-legged one is pretty confused and the two-legged ones keep whimpering.
We’ll be alright, though. If you’ve gone on to someplace else, we’re certain you’re running in those, big loopy circles around a bunch of kids or goats or startled geese or whatever you think needs to be herded. If you haven’t gone on to someplace else, we’re really happy that you don’t hurt anymore.
We’ve been talking about you a lot, if you can’t hear us. We’ve been talking about how you uprooted a four-foot ficus tree like it was a fetching stick and your fondness for the taste of chair legs. We’ve been talking about the way you chewed the bolts out of a plastic kennel and slid through the opening you created between the top and bottom halves of the thing. (That was pretty brilliant, by the way, even if it was just dumb luck.) We’ve been talking about how that coarse, wiry, waterproof fur of yours brought about the early demise of no less than three vacuum cleaners.
But mostly we’ve been talking about the way you ran around with The Kid and played with that boy and slept in his bed, the way you caught Frisbees and chased tennis balls and seemed to arc like a dolphin when you ran through the snow.
I hate to admit it, but I’m not just crying over you. I’m sad that part of my life as a dad is over, watching The Kid before he became a man try — and fail — to wear you out.
I thought about all those things when we scratched your ears and hugged you while the serums slowed your heart.
It’s a hard, angry world, full of hard, angry people. For sixteen years — you know that’s a big number for a dog like you, right? — you made it a little more bearable. We can’t thank you enough.
We love you, mutt. Always will.
Enjoy the sunshine.
Ed, Amy, Oliver and Dingo