Friday, July 2, 2010

Off she goes to the people on the other side

willie

The dog of my childhood died yesterday, almost exactly fourteen years after we'd brought her home in a tiny handful. It wasn't unexpected, and in a weird way my grief wasn't unexpected. But it's still managed to utterly derail my concentration.

I know dachshunds and other small dogs can be sort of yappy but Willie tended to be very chilled out and also, like everyone else in the house, completely bonkers. She showed you a toy when you came into the house as a part of her greeting ritual. She barked at the tiny patio door upstairs to indicate she wanted to go out the front door. She had a strange routine where we would grind the top of her head on a particularly nubby patch of carpet at the top of the stairs (not difficult when your legs are only three inches long) and when she did it near me I would scratch behind her ears at the same time. How could you not?

I have a huge mug with lemons printed on it that's large enough to accommodate four cups of coffee. In the summers of high school I would make a pot, pour it all into the lemon mug, and Willie and I would go sit out on the driveway in the sun together. Sometimes I'd read, or sketch, but a lot of times we'd just sit there, early birds in a house filled with owls.

Willie

Say hello to the people on the other side, little one.

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