My days are numbered and the number is small. But she can not yet bear to think of my passing. So I do my best to appear as sturdy as my old bones allow. She tells me daily how much she loves me. She says she knows this is probably my last year. But the words lack conviction. She speaks them to prepare herself for the time without me. But she is not ready for me to leave, and so I remain.
She tells me the fates brought us together. She had just lost her beloved Jesse and her heart was sad. She had forgotten how to laugh. The house was too quiet, empty, lonely. She received a call that I was available. “No, no – it’s too soon!” she said.
But then she saw me. She picked me up and buried her face in my puppy fur. Her salty tears were delightful to my puppy tongue. I grabbed her hair, scratched her face and dribbled a little pee on her shirt. She was mine. I had claimed her. She took me home.
I was never perfect, but I did try to please her. She wanted me to make my toilet outside. I didn’t see the point in that at first, but if it made her happy it was fine with me. Oh I did have a few accidents in the early months. Once she made the mistake of setting me on a down comforter. I was five months old at the time. I knew the comforter was a sacred spot. It smelled of her and the man of the house. It smelled of Jesse. I got real excited. I grabbed the comforter and shook it. A small hole appeared. Down and feathers floated out. The urge to kill overcame me. I couldn’t help myself. I wasn’t in a house in the city. I was alone in the wilderness fighting for my very survival, viciously killing my prey.
“Codie! What are you doing?” She stood, towering above me. She was angry at herself for foolishly putting me on the comforter. I was young and ashamed. I didn’t know how to apologize. In my embarrassment I peed on the comforter. Instantly the horror of what I had done was clear to me. A few moments of puppy madness and I had destroyed my world. She would hate me. She would take me back to my birth home and demand a refund. I would never be allowed in the sacred bedroom again. I would be banished, ignored, left for hours in the backyard to contemplate my evil deeds.
I didn’t expect what happened next. She started laughing. Little giggles at first. I looked at her. Maybe she was choking with rage. But she was definitely laughing. She swept me up and danced with me. She laughed and hugged me and called me a silly beast. She told me it was her fault. She should never have put me on the comforter. The comforter was old and it didn’t matter anyway. She told me she loved me and would take care of me forever but I had to try to learn her ways and I had to promise to stay with her as long as I could.
I was delirious with joy. She still loved me despite my terrible crime. Of course I would try to be better. I would grow up and learn her human ways. I would learn my place in her world and try to do what she asked of me. I promised that I would stay with her forever. I would grow old with her. Our lives would change over time, but we would be together always.
And now that I can no longer hear and barely see, now that my old bones struggle to move me from one room to another, I remember my promise.
My days are numbered. My time is short. I must hurry to write my story.