some days are better than others, but today, I really miss him. learning to “be” without him has been really hard. it’s not like i didn’t try to prepare myself either. you just can’t ever really do that. if i had it my way…dogs would live to be 100.
but every day he sends me gifts. little reminders of him and our special time together. he knows and i know …that someday, our paths will cross again.
A few of the things i miss most about him…
*his paws. sometimes they were dry and scratchy but they always had this little hint of white fur between his pads….and they smelled like popcorn. we used to say all the time, he had popcorn feet.
*the way he always knew when it was 4:45. Not 5:00, that was his actual dinner time…but a few minutes before. he was ready and let me know it with a simple “woof”. every afternoon, he would find his spot on the kitchen mat and wait…not so patiently.
*how he never let a closed door stop him. he barged in everywhere and i came to expect it. his little nose nudging open the door to follow right behind me, he loved to be where I was.
*his wild barking at the garbage man was crazy. he truly thought that truck was up-to- no-good. how dare it invade his street. although his loudness was a bit much, i miss it.
*his “bonk”, that bump on his head…about the size of a peanut, right between his ears. we always said it was where he stored all of his brain power. and he was a very smart boy.
*the way he had to ride in my lap in the car. yes, he was way too big for that, but it never mattered to us. for five minutes or five hours…he had to be in my lap, head resting on the edge of the window, just enough to see out. there was always enough room for the two of us.
*how he couldn’t wait to ride in the little boat. once upon a while, Casey Joe lived the life of a sailor dog and he loved three things most about being a sailor dog: watching for fish, naps on the docks and rides in the little boat. it was just a small rubber inflatable boat, but it was his passport to adventure. i can still see him in his lifejacket, with his little brown ears flapping in the wind.
*naps. Casey Joe was a big fan of naps and it was kind of our thing to do on lazy Sunday afternoons. sometimes he would race me into our room, just to grab a spot in the pillows. i miss his upside down sleeping…the freckles on this belly and listening to him make sleepy sounds.
*his spirit. his middle name should have be “GO” because Casey Joe never missed an opportunity to get out there. he never hesitated to jump in the car, even though he didn’t know where we were going. he never second-guessed himself or got cold feet. he just went, whole-heartedly, with the biggest smile.
*Casey Joe had an incredible memory. i know they say dog’s don’t remember, but i’m pretty sure he did. he knew the turns in the road on our way to my grammy’s to swim; he knew exactly where to look for the chickens and the lizards…simply because he saw one in that exact spot a year ago; he knew to lay under the table on Spaghetti night because once his Pops dropped a noodle (or two); he knew that when we went to the airport…someone special was coming to visit; he knew us.
*that twinkle in his eye. the one that said “just try me” or “wanna bet?”. he was always quick enough to dart away at the last minute and rarely good about bringing his ball back. his favorite part about “keep away” was the keeping away.