How could I start a blog and not write about you? Half of my heart (the best half) that saw me through my entire 20s and so many wayward decisions with only the occasional side-eye of judgment (I agree, that was stupid, oh and that, you were right). Your little heart was so strong and so ferociously brave and yet you retained this puppy-like exuberance and wild spirit (and were almost entirely untrainable). I'm not sure if you kept me younger or if we did it to each other but there you were, my curmudgeonly little snuggle-bug who maintained a svelte and wily way even through your last moments.
Now you're gone. And I know it was for the best but when I think about the cause of your death I keep thinking back about what more I could have done. You would have done more for me. I cried all the time at first and now it's about once a week (and every time I drink - hence two months of no drinking cleanses since you left). Mom says that the beauty of your life is that you taught me how to love so deeply, and that your absence has opened up something inside of me that I can share with someone else. I sure hope he is worthy, you've left some big shoes to fill.
Baby bully, you're so many places I go - the Fens where you used to dive bomb geese-poop-treats, Christopher Columbus park where you growled at the sketchy guy you didn't trust down the alley, under my covers, when I crack my eggs in the morning. You were my perfect reminder to relax because life is so damn short and that really, hundreds of fuzzy belly kisses are the cure to anything in the world. Thank you, without those memories and reminders I would be way less human.
You're there on my shelf too. In a cedar box. It's not totally befitting your goofy + wild nature but it's still so special to me. I hold it and it's weight grounds me (in death you finally got on that diet I always joked I would put you on...). We've got some big plans this year, and although I'm not ready to open that box just yet, there are some amazing adventures in store for us.