Puppy Love

June 11, 2012
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I love you. I always have, and always will. When you were a baby, tiny and bare and helpless, I was there by your side. Chasing you under tables and taking blame for the vases we shattered. Enduring pain with no complaint as you ripped out fistfuls of my fur. Smiling when you smiled, sleeping when you slept, nuzzling warmth into your hairless, naked skin.
The days came and went. You moved from garbled coos to words. Your parents fawned, the neighbors raved. Grandpa smiled his weathered smile and declared you a football star. Your body grew and stretched.
You started disappearing in the mornings, when a yellow monster rambled up and stole you away. But I grew to trust its squeaking doors, because every day it deposited you back home. I memorized the time. The pain of waiting was agonizing, but it was made up a thousand times when I jumped up and licked your face. ‘Good boy. I’m glad to see you too.’ These were the words I lived for. Longed for.
Stories flew across the dinner table about your other playmates. Benny, with the swimming pool, and Tom, the kid across the street. But I was always your best friend. Who lay at your feet through the struggles of math sheets? Who trained with you for the soccer team? Whose fur did you cry in when the world was cruel and the tears overflowed?
I never left your side. Not in good times, not in bad. Not even in thunderstorms. I was your companion, protector, friend. I would do anything for you. Fall, and I will catch you. Cry, and I will comfort you. Kick out at me in anger, and I will forgive you in an instant. I live to serve you.
Now you’re tall and strong, and I am growing old. The puppy has left both of us. Your life is just beginning, mine is winding down. These joints complain more than they used to, but say the word and I’m up for any game. I’ll still run after that soggy, ragged tennis ball.
Because why live, if not to make you happy? You are everything. I’m content to die, as long as I’ve brought you joy. I was baby’s best friend, child’s, and now I’m a strong young man’s.





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