Year 19

Priced at only $20 in our local pet shop this little love was far undervalued.

Puffy was my constant companion through grade school, middle school, high school and here at 12 years old (that’s 84 to you and me) she shines just as bright and happy as ever. I think all that licking between my toes while I did homework and watched MTV was the elixir of her life. She was such a smart creature too. Even at 16 years old she was still learning new things,. That old expression of teaching an old dog new tricks has been debunked as far as I’m concerned.

My little powder puff was with me when I married and moved into my first home. At the age of 18 however the quality of her life quickly declined. Arthritis arched her back making it difficult to walk little alone jump onto her favorite spot on my pillow. She lost most of her eyesight and would often trap herself between the back of the television and the wall. Then she would forget how to back herself out. Many days after work I would call for her and find her laying inches away from the spaghetti cluster of wires and cables. She hung on as long as she possibly could. Looking back, I think she led such a happy life, she was afraid to let go.

After refusing to eat or even plant the tiniest of kisses on my cheek our vet suggested it was time. I regret not staying with her on her last day. I cried myself to sleep for two weeks straight afterwards with guilt and loss. I wrote in my journal, collected all her pictures and coveted her smell still left behind on my pillow.

Today, when I catch a stubby legged white Cockapoo or Maltese walking in my neighborhood, and there are at least a dozen, I see my best friend.

And I know she sees me too.