the way it all began
the first time I ever met Miney, back when she was meek and bashful and sad
after her first (very well-earned) bath
she’d find the deepest snowdrifts and leap through them, leaving dogprints
classic sleeping position
the first thing she’d do any time it was snowy was bury her face in it
the second thing she would do is snowplow her face down the deepest part as she ran
every day is a good day when you come home to these kinds of hellos
first Christmas
One time when it was SUPER cold outside and we couldn’t run around outside too much because her paws would hurt, we were bored with all our regular games from being stuck inside for several days, so I hung Miney’s favorite squeaky toy from the fan to see what she’d do. She squeaked and screamed in frustration, so I took it down and gave her lots of guilty pets (after snapping a quick pic)
she ran off and dug and dug until she unearthed this giant bone, and I let her carry it around for days
after Christmas she got 4 extremely discounted rawhide bones that were almost as big as she was
one of her favorite games: pulling out strips of fabric from her holey ball to get the treats rolled up inside. here she is waiting for the “ok” to start puzzling her way to treats
it took a while for her to learn to appreciate snuggling, and this was one of our first snuggles ever (lasted about 3 minutes)
one time I put socks on her and it was the most hilarious thing ever, but she looked so sad I had to take them off right after this photo was taken
balancing a treat — such patience
favorite hobby at the bird sanctuary: rolling on all the dead fish
almost every day at lunch I’d take her to the bird sanctuary or dog park in Alton and eat my lunch on the go…this day we had an extra long lunch and we went to the confluence together.
the look she’d give me when we’d stop walking for 2 seconds
finding every snowpile or puddle to lay in
she insisted on snuggling up next to me while driving and would always put a paw on my leg and wriggle her head under my arm so my arm would be around her
the way we drove
once she discovered she knew how to swim she wanted to do it at every possible opportunity. She would make a beeline for the river every time we went to the bird sanctuary (though this picture is us in Cuivre River up by Troy)
we met a turtle
Miney an her goldendoodle friend, Clarke
Walker’s first day, and our first walk as a pack of 3
first snuggle ever
first day at my parents’ house. the beginning of Saturday romps in the yard that start at 6am and last all day
best friends.
car seat snuggles
Walker sitting on Miney in the car
favorite hobby in the morning = licking Walker’s face
parallel naps
I loved you so much.

ghost dogs

he and i sat quietly inside the little jeep as it edged into the drive. rocks crunched slowly beneath tires. my empty house waited. the last golden drops of sunlight hung on naked tree branches, and in the looming darkness, i thought i’d see you.

i thought i’d see you running toward me through the grassy field, eyes wild and fur rippling, with your smiling buddy chasing at your heels. i thought i’d see you leaping across oceans of grass blades in single bounds, your enthusiasm to run surpassed only by your enthusiasm to see me.

i remembered the two old sick trees my parents cut down and saw their sad stumps next to piles of branches and trunks. i avoided looking at the low mound of dirt beside the trees -

i knew you wouldn’t be there, but i forced myself to watch for you to prove it to myself. i had to watch. i knew you couldn’t be there, but it felt like you had to be. you had always been there, each forty pounds of fur and joy and enthusiasm, running to cover me with jumps and kisses. you had always been there, and i knew you had to be here now. i avoided looking at the low mound of dirt beside the trees -

i couldn’t blink, because what if my chance to see you came in a single moment, and i missed it? what if it was my only chance? i couldn’t blink. i couldn’t blink. i knew you couldn’t be there…but what if you might be?

the air was quiet and heavy with the weight of my expectations and i felt like this was the moment. now, i would see you running happy in the shadows. i knew you couldn’t be there, but i expected to see you still. i couldn’t blink. we were rolling slowly up the drive, but i didn’t see you and i knew the time was running out -

i avoided looking at the low mound of dirt beside the trees.

i avoided looking at the low mound of dirt beside the trees, but i knew it was there.

the jeep stopped. he said, i half expected to see them running. i said, i thought i’d see them too.

when we walked over and sat at the mound of dirt beside the trees, i swear i felt you with me. i almost saw you running. i wished i saw you running. but i swear i felt you. i pictured your bodies lying together beneath the mound, and wondered how far your molecules had spread into the earth. but when my brain started wondering if you still had fur, and started picturing skeletons with shriveling skin and sunken eyeballs, i had to stop.

i knew you were there, together. i felt you. i heard the birds, i felt the breeze, i saw the night. my ghost dogs ran with forty pounds of fur and joy and enthusiasm, and i went inside.

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