Like a Monet

My phone made me cry as I looked through old messages. I was cleaning out my Inbox. Keep, delete, delete, delete, keep, keep.

I chanced upon a message that had been sitting unnoticed and buried past the bottom of my screen. I didn’t remember who it was from but I knew the name. I clicked on it and my heart skipped a beat.

It was a series of photos of my two dogs at their foster mom’s house. Kirby, my pudgy Mini Pinscher Chihuahua mix, and Oscar, my Havanese, were sitting together on a couch. They looked confused and curious and sad all at the same time.

The image had been edited with a watercolor-like filter that made the boys look softer than they were in real life. Muted almost like Monet’s lilies.

More images in the conversation scrolled by as my fingers guided my screen. I longed to hold them. Keep. Keep. Keep.

Kirby in his foster dad’s arms. Oscar playing with his ratty old decapitated giraffe. Both boys sitting on a leather couch with a young girl, her arms wrapped around each dog — my dogs, my boys — a big smile on her face.

“They’re doing very well. They seem to be relying heavily on each other, which is expected. You can tell they are leaning on each other for support.”

My heart tore a little bit in the spot that has been healing these past three months. The sadness was just as fresh as the day I let them go.

I lied in bed clutching my phone. The tears came in heavy sobs. I missed them; I missed our life.

Oscar, my Ewok-looking six-year-old puppy, would have laid his head on my hip if he were in bed with me that morning. His tail would have wagged as he looked up at me asking what he could do to make me feel better.

Kirby would’ve burrowed his fifteen pound furry self in the curve of my stomach and licked my arm.

And Rocco. My cinnamon-haired, brown-eyed old man Yorkie, the firstborn of our pack would have curled up near my head and sighed into my hair.

Keep. Keep. Keep.

I sift through more messages in my Inbox. Friend who only texts once in a blue moon… Delete. Friend who never replies… Delete. Spam… Delete. Texts from my daughter from a year ago… Keep. My son-in-law. Keep.

I land on messages from Rocco’s foster mom. My nine-year old best friend wearing a blue scarf on his walks. Rocco curled up next to his new Yorkie brother on matching pillows. Rocco looking out the window of the front seat of the van that took him away from me and into his new life. Rocco curled up in bed on his foster parent’s bed.

Keep. Keep. Keep.

The boys are well. My boys are well. My best friends are well.

I put down my phone and take on another day.