When we met you were damaged, scared. You had retreated to the furthest corner of a small crate. You were reluctant and afraid. You saw another canine at my side and left your corner and came to investigate with guarded curiosity. This was our first meeting in a crowded kennel loud with rowdy hounds. I turned you out with Bryce and saw your spark had not been extinguished. I had to leave you but not before you stopped. You stood still as stone at the door of your crate. And unlike your walk, your sauntering gait with head down, you lifted your head and looked directly into my eyes. The image of your deep calm gaze, your eyes fixed on mine standing utterly still and silent gave me pause. I too felt still and did not wish to leave. Then you leapt up into your crate four feet off the ground, fitting your body effortlessly through the small opening. You moved with precision, grace and perfectly metered force and again searched out the corner you had come to know so well. I watched as you dug your blanket, curled into a compact ball that belied your actual size and buried your nose. What you felt and what lay behind those deep pools of brown I could not know for we were not made the same. To be sure your gaze was not that of some robot or some insentient collection of cells responding only to stimulus. The memory of your eyes and your gaze haunts me more than anything else from the time we passed together. Your shell fell away after a time and daily your tendrils burrowed painlessly into my heart. You became more confident, more exuberant and your distinct personality grew upon me. I could recognize you by the way you walked, how you held you head, how you moved and stretched in the morning and how sometimes you would freeze and look at me. Your gaze took my breath away.
You became ill and I tended you. You bled and I took you to be sewn. You cried and I came to your side. I lay in bed with fever and you slept beside me. I cried and you searched me out. You came when others did not. You stayed when others left. We walked and walked for miles in the forest together, and when I lay down to rest only to wake after hours and in the dark, I worried but only briefly for you had curled up nearby, waiting patiently.
You left me unexpectedly. That day we sat again as we had often done. I sat cross legged and you rested your head in my lap. You were so relaxed and calm pressing against me it seemed as if you had waited for me again, one last time. I had come and you fell asleep quickly with your head nuzzled on my thighs. You were sleeping when I killed you. You were sleeping and I was hopelessly in love with you and I killed you softly, killed you gently. I felt you become still one last time and then you left me and went where I could not follow.
I fell in love with you, and as much as a dog can I believe you fell in love with me.
I miss you dearly and sometimes I still smell the warm nutty scent of your fur.
Run like the wind my love! Go and see the places that no one can imagine! Run!