I sit on the sofa, looking out the window at the large tree across the street, watching as the wind waved through the upper branches. The dog sleeps near my feet. When I make the slightest movement, she lifts her head and looks at me, ready to move if I move. It is her compulsion. She must be with me when she is with me. I often wonder if she is every fully asleep, as the slightest disturbance launches her into instant action. When she was just out her puppy stage (awkward and spindly), her acute hearing, light sleeping, registered passing cats in the dark of night. She would begin rapid fire barking, deep and frightening, waking me from dreams, confused with sweet adrenaline tingling to my toes.
I’d call her name out of reflex.
She’d offer one last bark, then a muffled growl.
I is for intrepid
There were times I am certain she saved us from criminals. One night, she leaped onto the bed, nearly crushing me, intent on something just outside the window. I could hear nothing but her, and looking out, saw nobody worthy of her attention. The next morning however, I discovered depressions resembling footprints in the soft dirt near our bedroom window.
For 14 years she protected and loved us. She was part of our family. We loved her back.
No one lives forever, and even the most fearless of us age and break down. She became the sweetest of old dogs, affectionate, but still attentive, always staring into my face, as if she was memorizing it, as if she knew her time was short.
October 13th, 2015 was her last day. We made it grand, though nothing could keep it from being crushingly sad.
I miss her.