FOR MY SISTER
I will never forget the day Mommy called me to tell me all about you. I was far away. How badly I wanted to fly home and meet you. Our new girl.
Eight days later we met. You were so little. And instead of the customary kisses, part of such an important introduction, you gave me a sweet nibble right on the ankle. Compliments of your razor sharp puppy teeth. That was the border collie in you. At that moment you had my heart.
I pulled my camera out, not wanting to miss a moment. Furry babies grow too fast. I picked you up and laid you on your back, and you posed like the princess you were. Naturally, in no time you graduated to queen.
You were always curious, into everything, always needing to know more. So busy that you would create your very own to do list and follow it to the letter. Once again, the border collie in you.
Our star athlete, our super swimmer. Not a summer day went by without you in the pool for hours and hours, or running for miles at the lake. It was the Lab in you. Now the years have taken their toll. Your spirit is still there. You sit poolside with your ball, or find your spot on the couch, always within eyeshot of the water, as if to hold those wonderful times in your memory. But even for dogs, priorities change. One can never underestimate the satisfaction and pleasure a good nap can provide.
You are everything that most people can only aspire to be. Relentless, challenging, whip smart, fearless, and loving without reservation. I swear you could run the world.
Fifteen years. It all went so fast. Fifteen, and now in the twilight of your too short life. Today is such a contrast from the day two sisters met. Now you are tired and slow. But true to character, your mind is determined. I realize I have had many more years with you than some doggie families have with their babies. But I’m selfish, I want forever. I know Mommy and Brother and Brother Tom do, too. And it breaks us to know it won’t be much longer. Please stay. Hang on. I’m not ready. If I had a thousand years with you it wouldn’t be enough.
There is a story known by animal lovers the world over. A little boy, saying goodbye to his old beloved dog, gives immeasurable words of love and comfort to his parents and the vet, as they face their overwhelming sadness. The little boy was not confused, he understood. He said, “People are born to learn how to live a good life. Like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right? Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.” So beautiful and true. But it still isn’t fair.
Sister, I cherish you and our time together. You have taught all of us how to live, and above all love. How I ever deserved the blessing of you, I will never know. Somewhere along the way I must have done something right to be given such a gift.
I love you so much, my Stinky,