My memories of you, from the first day to the last, your personality, your heart, your soul, you taught me more than I ever could have hoped for and for that I am so truly grateful.
Your power of persuasion
Your soft and sparkly big brown eyes, that bulged when you begged, positioning yourself under gramma’s hands to get your shoulders rubbed, your ability to get whatever you wanted from me, whenever you wanted because I could never figure out how to say no. Your hovering during meal prep and chin resting on my leg while I ate.
The vocal notification of the cat scratching the couch, the pain you felt, the lack of interest in being handled by the vet, the notification of the cat not letting you up the stairs, the notification of the cat annoying you, even when he really wasn’t.
The argument when being yelled at the first time in Manitou, coming running when you heard Cleveland Rocks during the Drew Carey show. The look on your face after you’d snap, because you really didn’t mean it.
Lashing out when I tried to get you off the bed, not wanting to get out of the car, not wanting the leave the park and forcing me to get in the car and start to drive away to get you to come with me. The lack of interest in staying, sitting, lying down or doing anything I asked of you. The temper tantrum you threw when I attempted to walk you on a gentle leader. How you could make yourself seem like you weighed one thousand pounds when you didn’t want to be moved.
Your sense of adventure
Hiking red mountain together and sliding in the scree. Climbing Blodgett Peak with Zeb, scaling the front of Pulpit Rock, jumping off a two story porch, breaking my leg as we ran down the trail at Glenn Eyre, chasing magpies at Manitou High School, hiking in the snow at the Crags, navigating the rebar as we climbed The Incline together years before they improved it and made it safe.
Hiking up Williams Canyon with Mina when you were 5 months old, hearing you yelp and howl, watching you limp up the trail and carrying you out. Playing Frisbee Ball and watching you slip on the ice and flip over, weeks later, hearing you yelp as you jumped and watching you limp across the field and finding out you had ruptured a disc in your spine. The digging into the grass and gravel when you ran resulting in ripped nails, sometimes to the quick, when I thought you had a tick and I accidentally pulled out your microchip. Your cancer and the strength of your amazing heart until the very end.
Your love of water
Barking with incessant excitement as we approached both lake Erie and Ontario. Lapping at the rapids in Fountain Creek, running through the spillway from Douglass Creek, swimming at Rampart Reservoir and huffing in joy as you lapped at the gentle waves. Loving to walk in the rain, just not stand in it.
Your poor manners
Jumping in my lap and peeing on me the day I met you at the pound, jumping up on random people as we went for hikes and walks, peeing in an unknown persons gym bag at the Pikes Peak Marathon recovery tent, never really learning to do anything other than sit, all other commands were done at your discretion. Your need to constantly be reminded to be gentle because you didn’t know how not to clamp down on hands holding treats.
Covering 2-3 times the miles I did when we hiked or walked anywhere. Endless games of Frisbee Ball, because you were so good at catching the Frisbee but not so good at bringing it back so, I would have to throw the ball for you to retrieve, while I fetched the Frisbee for the next throw. The unlimited style points I would award you for your amazing moves in the air.
Your attraction to cars
Jumping in the car when the windows were down and parked in front of the house, jumping in a random persons car in the parking lot at the pet store and having them ask you to do it again because they were trying to teach their dog how to do it. Road trips across America with you by my side, sleeping in the backseat of the car hours at a time at The Territory, barking at motorcycles because they weren’t cars.
Standing on the back of the couch in the living room and snarling and barking at the bear in Manitou, growling at passers by while we slept at various rest stops across America, barking like an 80 pound dog and startling people when they saw how small you were, coming face to face with rattlesnakes and somehow not getting bit, your connection to DJ and Patrick.
Your sense of smell
Smelling out water at Pinion Valley Park and digging it up at the sprinkler heads, stealing snacks from gramma’s purse despite being wrapped in tinfoil, the rhythm of your sniffing as you processed what you discovered, walks that should have been 10 minutes were 30 because you needed to take it all in. Waking up to the smell of anything being cooked, even the smallest bits in the microwave. Watching you stand on the steps at Eclipse and sniffing at the air. Sniffing every blade of grass and every drop of rain during our last walk.
How when I first brought you home I would leave the house and hear you yelping and crying, so I would come back after 2 minutes until you finally accepted that I would always come home. How you never would let me close a door on you in the house and you would scratch and paw and yelp and howl until I let you in. The way you didn’t like people messing with your butt or your paws or your ears. The muzzle we needed at the vet, panting in the middle of the night when you were in pain. Freaking out when I would reach down for you to put you in the back of the car, smearing peanut butter in my hair at the vets when I tried to distract you when attempting to pick you up. Barking and yelping for now reason downstairs and making me come fetch you to get you up to bed.
Radiating the heat of the sun as you hogged the bed, getting you under the covers was the best way to stay warm. The days of snuggle bunnies with the cat. Sniffing in my ears and always being good for a kiss. What you filled me with every day I knew you, and what I’ll carry with me for as long as I live.
I love you Face. I will always be your girl and you will always be a part of me. Until we’re together again, my wonderful friend.