Our old Bow died today.
His sweet and tender dotage - with Vic, with me, with Nell - eclipsed his crazed, marauding youth. He turned out to be the best companion, snuggler, bear sniffer, and Cheerio eater around. We miss him and will continue to keep him with us always.
Thank you to Didi Guse for illegally adopting him because she knew we belonged together in my apartment.
Thank you to the doctors who saved his life when he was two by removing a box of unused tampons from him stomach, describing the mass as the tangled innards of a melon-sized baseball, and asking me if I wanted to see it. Of course I did.
Thank you to Vic for repeatedly threatening to throw Bow against the wall or drop him off in a Walmart parking lot, but never doing so.
Thank you to Nate for adopting Bow as your own.
Thank you to everyone who let Bow lick your ears, or stare deeply into your eyes, or whack you with his tail in greeting.
Thank you Bow for imprinting on so many people's lives. Thank you Bow for loving Vic even when Pete was afraid to. Thank you Bow for saving me again and again by waking me up in the morning and telling me you needed me. Thank you Bow for taking me outside and keeping me there for hours at a time, listening, looking, smelling.
Thank you for sharing your life with us, Bow Bow.
My two year old daughter, Nell, says, "Bow Bow? Bow Bow, come!" I tell her, "Bow can't come. He's dead." and she cries. I don't think she knows what it means exactly, but maybe when the "sealed river rock" cremation package I purchased at the vet is delivered home (what was I thinking?), that will be a starting point to the conversation.