A Two Part Tail

When he died he took a piece of me with him. 

I thought that, like with any other loss, time would heal. But time has not made a dent. 

Thankfully, I was at peace with his passing. 
He smiled wider than ever on his last day. 

I cried harder than I have ever cried in my life. 
My spirit mourned. 

And although I disobeyed God in keeping (and maybe even getting) my pit bull, Nemo, God blessed me in that I don't just remember Nemo with my mind, but with all my senses. 

I remember the way it felt to look into his eyes and know that my everything hidden and deep down away was well understood. 
The way it felt to sit on the floor and wrap my arms up and around his big neck. 
To feel his chin push into my shoulder. 
The way the little flaps at the corners of his ears were so soft -a perfect fit for the balls of my thumbs when I rubbed his head. 
I remember every trace of the bones and muscle under his warm soft coat. 
The way he smelled. 
The way his giant clumsy paws would stomp my wrist or leg while he tried to figure out how we could get closer than physically possible. 

Somehow, when I close my eyes to dream him up 
I can remember him, exactly as if he were right here. 

I swore all kinds of incredibly sad and wrong things when I drove away from the building he lay to rest in, three years ago. I shut tight my love-for-dogs door, and I walked away "better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all". 

I decided for myself, in honor of my love (and guilt) for Nemo, that all the dogs left were just dogs from there on, and my heart for them was closed. 

A year later we got her:

We took Yuki home knowing God's blessing was on us in our adoption of her. Knowing she would be our sweet girl for a long long time. And I enjoyed her at best in the beginning. 
I was grateful for my son to have his puppy after what he'd been through. 

Over the years Yuki has made her way in me. Nothing like Nemo-love, but a very special brand of Yuki-love. She's not really a "dog" in my eyes. She's a gift. A Bugg born the day I said good-bye to my Nemo on earth, forever. 
She's my little girl. My sweet lady. 

And she's my son's dog. 

I have thought about having a big dog again. When I'm all grown up, and I'm light years away from the cracked up broken mess behind the caution tape and deadbolt closed door. 

I dream of my late-in-life dog, how he would sniff and romp around in the reeds while I fish, lay on the front porch while I watch the sunset and reflect back on my long and beautiful life... how he would be there, sharing in the place where Nemo once filled completely. How my heart would prayerfully be available again, so I could love him and let him love me.

Those dreams and my vivid memories of Nemo are what have gotten me by without a dog of my own.

To be continued... 


  1. Ok, you hooked me. Can't wait to read the rest of this story. Love the expression on Yuki's face. :) And you story of Nemo brought tears to my ears.

  2. I know the story of Nemo but can't help crying too!!!

    love, Pam

  3. I am with you on that one Pam. Tears just fall when I think about him and all that transpired. Some things just don't seem fair.
    It was one of those heartbreaking times you witness your girl go through something you know is breaking HER heart and you pray... for that kind of peace.

  4. I know the pain of loosing "your dog". I have been calloused at getting another one. But it's only been 6 months. Although it was hard to read this post, it was a great tribute to the animals we loved and lost.


Your kind words are a blessing to me. Thank you for taking the time to share your heart.