My dearest Baby (the first), Sasha, Baby (the second), AJ, Marley, Stranger, Smokey, Buster, and Cotton,
As I sit here, it’s quiet, my feet are not weighed down by something warm and fuzzy, nothing is sitting at the back of my chair, and I feel that. You’re not here. You’ve all gone and I am still here. I dream of heaven and that heaven has more of you than anything else. When I lay down in this place and rise in the other, it’s your wet noses and wagging tongues that I wish to greet me. That I could play, walk and hug each of you for an eternity.
I’m not trying to lump you all together. You, each in your own way, all hold real estate in my heart. Each of you took a piece of my soul with you when we parted. The peace of soul you brought to my life centered me and held me steady. The unwavering companionship that carried through and past the turmoil of life gave me a hope I struggle to comprehend.
When people failed me or worse yet when I failed people, you never judged and you never faltered. Steadfast, loyal, loving, you stayed with me. When the tears came, you comforted, as best as you could. In thin times or fat times, you never cared about anything other than being present and being available.
Never being worthy of your loyalty, love or friendship, I am humbled and somewhat ashamed. I, being just a man, will never accomplish such a fine assemblage of traits as what I’ve experienced in all of you. I will never love completely and without condition. I will never find myself free of judgment. I will never be as steadfast. I will never be able to be as present or as honestly myself as any of you.
Some will say and have said, animals don’t have souls and they don’t have feelings, they are wrong. They are the bravest souls. They share the earth with the most virulent of creatures and they still love us. They give and they expect little in return. They are honest because their nature holds them to a higher standard than does our own.
I anxiously await the time when I can have another friend such as any of you. I hope to follow the example you all set for me. To be brave, honest, loyal, loving, compassionate and present in the lives of all who encounter me. I can only hope to be as good as any of you.
All My Love,