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She’s still so warm, and yet, she’s dead. Oh God, Why? Her rich chocolate fur still shines in the artificial yellow of our porch light like it always did, but she isn’t here. She’s on her side with her eyes open, like how she always used to lay after I’d take her for a jog.
I know she was old and weak. I understood that the time was coming quickly, but that doesn’t mean I can’t feel that sickening lump in my chest and throat close off my insides so that I don’t spill them in some way. I didn’t talk, I just ran my fingers across her tummy, like I always did, and stared into her beautiful almond eyes.
Goodbye Corazon, you’ll be missed.
I rock back from my kneeling position on my heels to a sitting position and stare into the moon.
Heh, I can still perfectly imitate the unanimous reaction from my sisters when dad brought the new one home: “Oh my goodness! He is so cute! Ooo! Googeee! Googeee! GOOGEEE! I could just eat you up!”
That was, what, four weeks ago?
“He” was called Salami... yeah. At first I was like, “Who on earth names a dog Salami? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!”I still hate that name, but now I realize, it sort of fits. That little rat is annoying as freak. I don’t actually hate him. He just gets on my nerves. Anyway, he was the new thing. Like pop music, the new thing makes people begin to forget the thing that came before it. The girls would gaga at Salami, and Corazon would roll onto her side, like she always did, and sigh.
He is adorable, don’t get me wrong, but she came first. I’d lay against her side while Salami got fondled by three eager servants. I never once forgot her. I knew she was too old to ignore. The new thing would still be here for a long time after the good old thing had passed on. I loved her. Oh Corazon, silly old thing.
The biggest problem with Salami was one we didn’t know about till it was too late: He had this thing called “distemper.” It was a mild case and he’s gotten over it, but My Heart was too old. At first, he would puke and wheeze and get random coughing fits; by the time he’d stopped, she’d started.
We took her to the vet and they gave her these pills that she had to take daily. The others began to remember her then. I never had forgotten, not for one moment. The pills helped a bit, but we knew that it was just a matter of time before we had to say goodbye.
We did a lot of reminiscing in those final two weeks.
Hmm, I remember when she was really fat ‘cause we spoiled her rotten. That was maybe three years ago. That whole time period she would waddle instead of walking normally. When she ran, I called it a wallop. Get it? It’s like gallop mixed with waddle. She looked a little like a salami, which I now realize is kind of ironic. We gave her the nicknames Sausage and Jelly-Roll, since she was so dang delicious! She was most fun to pet and sleep on that year.
Wow, I’d closed my eyes and didn’t even notice. My throat stings again, stronger than when I first saw her body. This reminiscing hurts.
Another of those “mind video” things just came to me.
Wow, I almost forgot. Man, it sucks to remember; it also feels good. The years were not wasted.
She was only about five. Still a rascal, she would try to pull away when I walked her. I was a lot smaller, she was a lot stronger. We’d take her to the local mud-hole that people called a river and she would cavort and frolic in that disgusting water. Dad would wade out till the water reached his knees, and he’d toss her the knotted rope, she’d bring it back and make him win tug-o-war to get it back. She’d snarl happily and raise her back fur like a main. It was all show, she wouldn’t hurt a fly. Actually, never mind, she snapped at flies. When dad finally wrestled the soaked toy away from her, she’d bound back and forth through the waves till he tossed it again. He would tire before she did every time.
Now look at her: the fur’s still chocolate, but she seems pale beneath it. I remember the energy perfectly, but that changes nothing. I’ll never hear her bark joyfully, or angrily, or sadly for that matter again. I can recall, but my Corazon is silent. She is still forever.
Y’know what though, let me tell you one thing: it was love at first sight.
A neighbor had a puppy they didn’t want. We didn’t have a puppy that we did want. Mom picked the name Corazon; it’s Spanish for heart. I was only five; we’d just moved into a new state; I hadn’t made friends yet. We bonded instantly.
Corazon has always been a part of me. I can’t remember a time without her. I met her before I met my best human friend. She’d come running when she heard me trip and start to cry. She would lay there like a pillow when I was depressed; her breathing would soothe me like gently rolling waves.
It feels like a part of me is dying with her death. She was my first best friend, my good ol’ thing, the best dog on earth, and she was my Heart. She was my Corazon.
She’s resting now. My heart is resting. She lies still. I can’t stand her staring eyes. She never stared; she couldn’t stare. Dogs don’t stare. I close her eyes. Now she can rest; I can rest.
I drink in my last image of her. She is gone. Goodbye, my dear Corazon!