Happy Birthday, old friend
My dearest boy,
I read and re-read the letters written to you and tears fill my eyes and heart. I didn't realize someone could cry over a dog so much. But you weren't just a dog, at all, were you? You were and are and will always be My Pard. I can still feel your last moments in my arms and those thoughts and feelings cross my mind all the time still. I lost it at Kammi's one day, just talking about Dr. Marble, who came to the house that day. My mind drifted and the next thing, I was in her arms, bawling my eyes out.
When we went to Salmon this year, I knew before I even got there that there would be a red heeler pup that looked like you in a box or a cage, ready for sale. Sure enough, after running barrels (one out of the 4D money, btw), I walked with Jill, Scott and Macady over to the sale barn. As soon as I crossed the racetrack, I saw a little you. I never stop at puppies, I don't ever pick them up and sigh and say, "Oh my gosh, aren't they adorable?" in a singsong voice. I ignore them, I feel bad that they are even born and always wonder what happens when they're in the chewing stage, the non-housebroken stage, the grown up stage when they're not as cute as they were as puppies. Not this time. Nope, I knew they'd be there by the bleachers.... and I promptly walked right up to the only red in a litter of 5 blues and picked him up. He cried, and buried his face under my nose. I snuggled him close, smelled his puppy breath and quickly put him back down, walked into the bathroom and bawled like a baby once more. He looked exactly like you. For just a split second, I was 17 again. It was May 5th 1996 and I had just picked you out of the litter, named you Pard and declared you mine. For just a second, time stood still and all those feelings, smells, touches, all came rushing back in a flood of emotion. I could imagine for just a moment how I'd pack him around in my jacket to keep him warm and call him Little P.
I cleaned up and prepared to go back to everyone at the bleachers and walked right into Kammi's arms. Again. She told me we were buying that puppy (even though we all know I A) Don't need one & B) would never pay for one with all the shelter dogs we see. She tried to talk the maybe 14 year old kid down on his $200 price and he wouldn't budge. I picked up the pup one more time, decided his name would've just been Little P anyway, gave him to Macady and walked away. I saw him later in the arms/jacket of another lady and thought, Let Go and Let God. You showed me that day that you were still with me and I got a glimpse of you in a puppies' face. I was satisfied with that. It made Jill cry, and Macady felt bad for seeing me cry, but I'm over the stage of apologizing for feeling. It's ok to cry and it's ok for people to see me get so emotional. I just try not to do it all the time. It was nice to feel you near to me again.
Spring has arrived in all her fierce glory and the wind hasn't stopped blowing since March. The snow is gone and I have yet to find your tags. Your collar is still on my bedside cabinet and I have managed to walk the earth that covers you, and make plans to plant flowers when it warms up. Mum will be here soon, and maybe she can help me smooth away the rocks and dirt, and get it ready for fresh new grass.
Happy what would have been your 15th birthday my old P-Dog. I feel you close and you are never far from my thoughts. I still miss you daily, and can feel your presence here in the living room. I love you and this is me hugging you and kissing the top of your precious head. Thank you for choosing me and staying long enough for me to love you forever.