I can still remember the smell of your fur, so earthy and sweet. I am so glad I knew you. You were an excellent guard dog, barking the moment anyone drove into our driveway. I loved running circles around the yard with you, cuddling with you on the couch, and even letting you sleep in the bed when Dad wasn't home.
I have always appreciated your appetite for destruction, as I too, can get antsy on rainy days. When you chewed off the bathroom cabinet, I didn't even know how to get mad. I just cried and then laughed. When Christina had an attitude problem (she still does by the way) and she would get in your face, I am so glad you kept your cool and would just walk away. It's like you knew she couldn't help herself. (We're still working on her meds.)
The only regret I have is that I didn't tell you enough how much I loved you. I wished you were more of a retriever-type. But no. When I threw the toy out into the yard the first time for you to fetch, you just gave me a look that said, "Yeah. Right. You go get it."
The night you died was the worst night of my life. I heard you yelp from the back of the car. I thought something had fallen on you. When I pulled over into the parking lot and you were just lying there, I got scared. So, I called Dad. His first question was, "What happened?" I just hollered into the phone to come and meet me. I forgot Christina was in the car, so I had to call my sister, too. She was quiet the whole time.
An hour later, we brought you home. But… it wasn't you. The veterinarian had respectfully given you to us, so we could tell you good-bye on our own. The drive home was so quiet. With tears in our eyes, we brought you into the back yard and gave you a proper burial. For two days, the house was eerily silent. We tiptoed around the house. When the girls came home, we explained to them what happened. Christina and Claire wanted to see you, so we showed them where you were. Claire went to her room, crying. Christina sat with me and we talked about what she witnessed in the car.
It is almost a year later. We went to the local animal shelter and fell in love with Gracie. She's beautiful, graceful, and very loving. I think the two of you would have really enjoyed each other. No, she didn't take your place. No dog could ever do that. But, she did fill a hole in our hearts, and she quieted our tears.
I still have dreams of you; smelling your fur, sneaking you onto the bed, chasing you inside the house on a rainy day. Frodo Ezekiel Baggins, you are missed. You are loved. Still and always.