You were the best thing I ever got for a cigarette. [Most likely the best thing anyone ever got for a cigarette.] That’s right — old college me in 1995 traded you for one cigarette. Your name was Guiness, your fur black and tan. Your beginnings weren’t even fit for a Bukowski poem. Bad puppy habits of digging, incessant barking and shoe fetish couldn’t keep anyone from loving your floppy ears the moment met. You traveled cross country five times; lived in thirteen different homes. You were even given a Native American middle name on one of our crazy road trips. You skiied at 10,000 ft, canoed like a metronome, sneezed like mad in the back of pick-up trucks, loved McNuggets and bottlecaps, and were the very best frisbee canine on Earth (why didn’t you ever bring it back?).
You knew me before my first car, a Celebrity, and, oh, how you loved the back. You were with me before I wore glasses on a regular basis, and you were the one who ended up nearly blind with glaucoma. You were in our wedding, iris and snapdragon wreath aorund your neck. You welcomed our first with two giant licks, and sat by the birth tub with our second daughter.
You slept in my arms that first night, September 1, 1995. And today, at 3:00 pm, you lay before me after seven long and horrible minutes.
You are in our hearts and forever in our back field, head on Snowman, Halloween bandana around your neck, on your right side. Betty said you’ll turn into flowers, so we placed one of our sunflowers beside you.
Man, you were a great dog.