To The Dog That Smiled: A Letter to My Dog, Philippe

Do you remember the moment when we first met? 
I certainly do, but it was quite awhile ago so let me remind you.

Curled up in the back seat of our car with a running fever and sore throat, I pictured the triangle ears that framed your face and golden eyes. As I held this image of you in my head from the one photo we had, you suddenly appeared in the backseat, making yourself comfortable by curling up in the curve of my propped up legs. 

Without fail, you were always there. How is it that you understood everything without me having to say a word? I will continue to be in awe of you, your loyalty, bravery, stoicism, resilience, and charm.

I hope you knew how much I admired you. 
I hope you knew just how much you mean’t to me. 

It’s been ten years since we first met, and in that time you’ve lived in four different homes, five if you count the shed while our parent’s house was being built. 

And after leaving home, you were always the first face I would look for when I walked back through our front door. I would look for you, and listen for the thud of your tail. I would look for your caring eyes and honest face.

You had a way of bringing me home.

Now, I can’t recall if I ever told you this, but there was this joke that we were both in the running for most expensive medical bill, do you remember this? If not, that’s alright, it’s actually quite silly if you think about it.

Would it be alright if I asked you few questions? I know they may seem silly to some, but I am certain that you remember them. I am certain that you did these things for a reason…

Do you remember how you used to smile when woken from a nap? I’ve never seen anything like it before. A dog that smiled, now that’s something else.

Do you remember when I used to coax you up the driveway? I’m sure you do because you never liked walks, but regardless, I was selfish. I was selfish because walks were always so much better when you were there beside me. 

Do you remember when you would kiss Nellie, our childhood cat, with your slobbery tongue every morning? Despite her independent demeanor, you had to have known that she liked it. That she knew how much you cared.

Do you remember how you used to chase your tail? You always loved when people came over didn't you? The more family the better! The more talking the better. The more joy and laughter, the happier you became. The happier we became. 

Do you remember how you used to look at Cory? This was always one of my favorite things about you - funny, right? I think I just admired how open you were with you emotions. How open you were to show the people you loved how much you cared.

I hope you knew how much I loved you.

Oh Philippe,

This letter is for you, your silly smile, often awkward run, and golden eyes. This letter is the only way I know how to say goodbye: cherishing, understanding, and holding close the moments we had together. 

Love you, friend. You're one of a kind.