You can’t hear me when I tell you I love you anymore, so I try to show you in as many other ways as I can — by carrying you from room to room, because your legs don’t work well anymore and standing outside while you roam around the backyard in the dark, because I don’t want you to look back toward the house and think I’ve left you.
You’re 15 now and it’s been an incredible decade and a half.
I’ve learned so much, often from my own mistakes. I know there are times I could’ve paid you more attention. I could’ve gone out with friends a little less or taken you for longer walks. But you never quit on me.
Even when your legs barely worked, you’d still follow me from room to room like a shadow.
I’ve loved a lot of pets, but never one as much as you, Soph Bear.
You’re complicated, sassy and downright mean to just about everyone but me by then end, but you earned the right to be a little cranky.
You’ve been with me since high school – through that lonely first apartment in Mississippi – through all the long drives we took back to the Carolinas over those 19 months – through the move to Greenville – through bad dates and good – through marriage – through fertility treatments and loss and now through 2/3 of pregnancy.
I know you were in pain, frustrated and anxious. I know you were tired and confused.
I know you were still here in the end because I still needed you to be here while I prepared to say goodbye.
And I know I had to quit being selfish.
I will love you forever, Soph and I’ll miss you in this home. I’ll miss our quiet mornings together before the boys wake up and I’ll miss getting out of the shower and finding you waiting for me on the bath mat. I’ll miss sharing popcorn with you and watching you roll your white fluffy body all around in any dirt you can find.
Thank you for the unconditional love and for teaching us how to provide around the clock care for a tiny, helpless creature – even changing diapers – right before we welcome our daughter into the family. I promise we’ll tell her about you and show her photos. One day, maybe she’ll ask for her own dog – just like you were mine. I can’t think of a better gift.
I love you Soph. Always.