To my beloved Smokey, faithful and best companion for the last 14½ years ~
You have always been the best of dogs, from the day Bill and I brought you home as a wee puppy. You were always quick to learn, and quick to forgive my awkwardness; you are the first dog I ever bonded with. You were the most cute puppy, all black and grey plushy fur, with floppy ears and a curly tail, You would carry sticks on our walks to the bakery and back. You brought us so much joy and laughter. One of your two baths ever came after you plunged into Mud Bay after some waterfowl. You grew and grew and grew. Making all other dogs seem lesser beings to me. Your head is the perfect height for petting. I loved when you would jump up on the bridge railing over Mud Bay and watch the water and the fish and birds.
You came to live with me after the unfortunate Chicken Incident. That was not your fault, and your life with me was the best thing that ever happened to me. You were a boon companion throughout my three moves, until we came to rest here at Acorn Cottage. Everywhere we went you were a wonderful canine ambassador. There are so many folks who love you; your manners and sweet quiet nature are so good. Your only "fault" was being protective of me and of our spaces, and that is not a fault, that is actually your job, and you did it well. I failed at understanding sometimes, while I felt at other times that I could tell what you wanted or needed, like we were almost telepathic.
We had many many walks at night, I always felt safe with you at my side, and I think that you enjoyed the cool evening air and scents. I regret that there were so few times that you could run free. We did go to the beach that one time, and here at Acorn Cottage there were snowy days when you could run in the yard. May you run freely in the afterworld, untethered and with strong tireless legs.
You were always forgiving of my shortcomings, that I had to leave you here in the house while I went out to work. You have been the least destructive dog I have ever heard of, chewing only your toys and leaving the human monkey things alone. I regret that there has not been enough social time here in Portland for you, that being a pack of two was just not enough. I see how much you love company, your delight in guests, and your sweet friendliness. In the next world, may there be good companions and enough for you to feel the comfort of the Pack around you. May you not be lonely, ever.
You were my friend; you listened to my fears and tears and were there. You taught me to love. With you I felt safe, always. I was proud of your extraordinary beauty; people would stop on the street just to tell me how beautiful you were. What they did not know was that you were even more beautiful in spirit. I did my best to be the person you wanted and needed me to be, I know that you forgive my failings.
I promised you that I would always come back, that I would not leave you. I will keep that promise. You must leave me now, to go where I am not ready to follow you just yet… But if you are waiting for me later, know that I will come when I can. You have my love, now, and in all the myriad worlds. Journey in peace, dog of my heart, your work here is done…