I will tell you about this silly little dog, with stubby legs and the softest muzzle you’ve ever felt. Enough sass to even give me a run for my money. For such a sweet dog, Jack was a master of the side-eye. You always got the feeling that he knew more than he let on. An inside joke between him and himself.
His ears and front paws were like stroking velvet. He tolerated the paw-stroking barely, and the ear-stroking always. When an especially good spot was found, he would tilt his head (on the side of whichever ear was receiving attention), and lean into your hand with a sigh. Sometimes I rubbed both ears at once to see what he would do. His head would droop and he would simply melt.
Jack was a street dog for the first few years of his life, but didn’t let his previous record of foraging keep him from reaching his dreams of being a picky eater. Beef was okay, liver was preferred. He liked cheese for a while, then decided the love affair was over. His favorite thing was chicken. If it was leftovers from a meal, he would trip over himself in his eagerness to get a taste.
He frequently launched from the third step from the bottom of the stairs, with no regard for his own safety. He once got loose at my grandparents’ farm and was only caught when he made the mistake of going into tall grass, which slowed him down greatly.
As I said, he had stubby legs.
He had so much energy that, were it converted into power, it could light up a whole city. His face, ears, and legs turned gray. He didn’t care. He kept going. Until he couldn’t.
Dogs shouldn’t get sick. Or suffer. They are nothing but joy. Pure light wrapped in fur and tail wags. I envy them for their simple goodness.
Maybe I’m a little lost right now. Realizing there won’t be morning zoomies. Stolen blankets. Sneezing in my face when I lean in to kiss a wrinkled nose.
It was the correct thing. Jack gave so much love. He received every bit of it back, until in the end, the only gift left to give him was mercy.