It is her final hours, and somehow she knows it.
She asks for food and does her stroll around the yard, smelling the air as if she wanted to forever remember it. She comes back in and curls up on her bed, her big eyes staring at me, asking for comfort from the pain. So I come and lay next to her, scratch her backside the way she likes it, and she grunts, moving her body as close to mine as she possibly can, pushing against me with all her strength. She gives me kisses.
I get you, Remi. I know.
And I gently let her go. Good-bye, Mascara Eyes.
Today is a day for tears.
Tomorrow, I will remember all that my Remi taught me:
- Live in the moment. There are squirrels to chase, and puddles to jump in, and balls to catch, and plates to lick, and you are foolish if you don’t take advantage of it all. Don’t miss out on any. Taste it all, jump in it all, bite it all, pursue it all. Live fully, and you’ll get a great night sleep.
- Snuggles are important. Get as close as you can to your person, and then push against them. It feels safe and warm, and it lets them know that you are there for them. Kiss them furiously and don’t quit just because they say “Stop.” They love it.
- Be fiercely loyal. The people in your life are there for a reason. You belong to them and they belong to you. Be serious about protecting them, always choose them first, and never, ever stop watching over them, even when they think they don’t need to be watched over, because they always do.
- Don’t hold any grudges, but know who your enemies are. Every day is brand- spanking new, and you might as well start with a clean slate–it’s more fun that way. That being said, never let go of your instincts; because there truly are bad people out there, and you ought to be aware of them.
- Be extra kind with kids. They don’t know a lot of things yet, and your size might scare them. So play along and let them tame you little by little, and then, when they are no longer scared of you, let them pull on your tail and scratch you and kiss you and dress you and cook for you. You are like their squirrel or ball. You get to serve them.
6. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Somehow, there will be food and water in your bowls, because God is good that way. Somehow, when tomorrow comes, you’ll know how to love, and play, and protect, and live and say goodbye if necessary. Trust your gut. It knows best.