The Heart of a Dog
For Jinjy, in memory
Abandoned, discarded, and deemed an irredeemable measure,
from the trash you emerged, an irreplaceable treasure.
You brought a love that money cannot buy, or search for,
but only find, adopt, and nurture.
With my heart the mark, you were a rocket, bursting in appreciation.
It was shelter I offered, but a home you gave, with love and cohabitation.
While I nourished your body, my soul you fed, with joy and dedication.
And as your stray washed away, you showered me in kisses of affection.
A life companion we both gained that night through the door you did dart,
then you nestled under the blanket and burrowed into my heart.
So together we bid adieu to the dark of lonely and cold nights apart.
With time and compassion, I restored your faith in humankind.
And with snuggles and cuddles, my will to live you helped me re-find.
The touch of your sleek and soft coat calmed all my internal storms.
And I hugged your shaking body tight, to protect you from the outside lightning and real thunderstorms.
You patiently and loyally stayed by my side on dreadful days I felt too ill to rise,
but the pure and true pleasure that shined bright in your eyes
could entice me out of bed when I was collapsing in pain or cries.
Every day our bond grew, stronger than language or words could provide.
I knew each gesture; the gentle lift of a paw or the waggle dance of your behind.
The tiniest wrinkle of your brow laid bare your entire soul understanding my state of mind, and the slight tilt of your head when you got excited was heavenly and divine.
So quick to learn, you recognized the closing snap of my laptop as a walking sign.
There was always an adventure awaiting, something new for us to take on.
We climbed mountains, laid on beaches, traversed seas, and watched the night become dawn. With you in my life, my darkest days were brighter, you were a smile I could depend upon when you were lying in the tall grass, romping in the snow, or rolling on a scratchy lawn.
I carried you on hikes and down sand dunes, but you trained me for a 10k marathon.
Gazing into your deep and soulful eyes, I felt the power of our connection.
A bond based on every sense, from touch to smell, each part of you was perfection.
I miss breathing you in, admiring your photogenic, and matching ginger-brown complexion. An inspiration for your name, it was your character framed, and such a perfect reflection.
The delight of your high-pitched whine, still rings in my ears, with the strongest inflection. So too does the huff of your outward sniffing, when you savored my scent with real retrospection.
Fear of separation befell us daily, but with each reunion came your infectious smile.
I loved the feel of your soft, floppy ears, even though ear drops used to be quite the trial.
I remember the look of your splayed-out frog legs when you were young and agile,
while playing with your favorite toys; everything you did had its own special style,
like hiding your bones in the corner or your curled up lip that made the funniest profile.
Whether arranging pillows and blankets to make a bed or laying on clean clothes in a pile, digging a hole in the sand, or kneading your head on the rug, you made everything worth your while.
There are so many things that I will never forget about you, for they are truly renowned.
You drank only from fresh or running water, but would relish a piece of trash on the ground. I loved watching your youthful zoomies and how you’d run and play around.
And when a chest rub you wanted, you’d lay your paw on my hand, and I’d be spellbound. While sometimes you were stubborn, you’d still show off your toys when guests came around.
Your ability to understand me, from my tone to a look, was incredibly profound.
When we showed off your smarts by connecting people to their names, you’d always astound. I feel like I could never give you enough kisses, even though I know they were abound.
You never felt like a burden or a duty, although it was you that my life revolved around.
You gave warmth and tongue kisses to children, and strangers you met along the way.
Even our neighbor cat lover fell for your canine charisma that was always on display.
Then over the years, we grew older and both began to turn a little grey. While you might have slowed down, you still acted young and I didn’t notice any sign of decay.
But maybe it was better that I didn’t know there could be cause for dismay.
For your last memories were of hikes, creeks, and waterfall breaks; heaps of treats and play. I wish you could have stayed my puppy for forever or given anything for one more day.
But I made a promise to you that I wouldn’t let you suffer and painfully fade away.
Your last act of selflessness, bringing me home and rebounding ‘til our family had arrived. More than a decade together, and I still wonder, who rescued who, though it might sound contrived.
The vets said your heart was too large to live, but I know your big heart was how you loved and thrived.
And now it’s hard to survive without you, with a heart that is broken and of your love deprived.