Dear Hendrix, my first fur baby, our family’s loyal friend, our love::
January 26th was a normal day.
The boys played with you much like they had always done over the past seven years. They asked you to follow them into their room for a dance party. They gave you so much attention. You loved them.
My husband gave you a quick pet on the head as he left for work. You watched him drive away from the front window. You planned to meet him at the door as soon as his truck pulled up that evening. You always did.
I sent you out into the backyard to do your business and chase squirrels. You barked and growled and leapt at the fence. You waved your curled tailed when I encourage you to “get him, Hendy girl.” Your folded ears drooped low when I scolded you for wandering into the kitchen to clean the floor after lunch. You weren’t allowed in the kitchen. You knew that.
Everything was as it should be.
But when we called you for your scoop of dog food, you didn’t eagerly sprint to your bowl like usual. Oliver called and called, and I assumed someone let you into the backyard.
You weren’t there.
I checked our neighborhood Facebook page to see if someone left the back gate open and you snuck out… again.
Nothing there, and my gut ached.
You were in the office. Alone. Under the keyboard I’d stopped using months ago. You were motionless, and I knew.
Thinking back on the day that had unfolded, I remember that you kept trying to isolate yourself that day. You hid under the dining room table, an area you never visited unless it was after a messy meal. You looked guilty, but when I strolled through the house looking for any evidence, I found none.
You were looking for some solace to pass peacefully.
We started to grieve, and Oliver started to worry.
“Mommy, my heart hurts… I’m starting to forget her. She’s gone, and I’m starting to forget what she was like.”
But Maverick reminded us that day and every few days since:: “She’s in our hearts, guys! Can’t you feel her? She’s with us.”
We’ve found peace in keeping that in mind.
We’re working to override the memory of your stillness that day with the lively memories over all the years.
All the movies we watched with you curled up at our feet. Late-night walk/ runs when you wanted to keep going but I was worn out. Cheering for you on Christmas morning as you pulled goodies from your stocking. Watching you loyally go to bed in the boys’ room each night. We remember how you always knew I was pregnant before I did, how you became so protective of me and your new playmate growing inside me. Every move to new houses, you were there. Every rough night or special occasion, teething kiddo or Super Bowl party, you were there. You were always there, and we remember.
The day we adopted you, I looked into your golden-brown eyes and promised you that I would love you forever.
You are loved, sweet girl. Even on days you were a simple presence in our busy lives, you were loved.
And even now, as your paw print is displayed near your ashes, you’ve left paw prints on our hearts, and you are loved.
Thanks for the memories.