(Originally posted at twentysixcats.com)
I remember the last time I saw you. You were so cute - laying there in the grass, watching the world go by. I actually had picked up the camera to get a picture of you when the garbage truck came. Now, I wish I had run out to hold you, to assure you that it was okay. But I didn’t realize how scared you would be. To me, the garbage truck was just an annoyingly noisy thing that would soon pass. To you, it was a danger that must be avoided at all costs. That was the last I saw of you.
I hope you know that we tried our best to look for you. We searched everywhere, delaying our trip back to Atlanta until we just had to leave. I signed up for every lost dog website, and we called all the people we could think of. We even came back up to Nashville to look for you again. At first we thought we’d found you! We were very excited until we saw the dog running around - another beagle who looked like you, but definitely not you. We were crushed. It was hard to keep going, keep searching. I know I have to come to grips with the fact that I may never see you again. That makes me sad.
We’ve only known you 7 1/2 months, but you were such a part of our lives. It wasn’t always easy - there were times I hoped you would run away because I was so fed up! You definitely tried our patience, but you were getting better. Or maybe we were getting to be better dog owners, I don’t know. Probably both. I must say that despite all of it, you were a joy to know.
One of my favorite memories of you is when I would take you on our daily walks at lunch around the neighborhood. You would find a pine cone, pick it up, and then prance around with it in your mouth. You would greet anyone who passed by, and not everyone particularly liked dogs! You didn’t care. You wanted to be friends with everyone. You had such a sweet disposition. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer, sweeter, more wonderful puppy. You were adorable, especially when you would lay your head on our legs at night as we sat on the floor of the living room.
I enjoyed taking you to the dog park every week. I loved watching you run and play. I loved it when everyone came to praise you, how cute and sweet you were. I was so proud to be your owner, your mommy. I loved it when you would wear yourself out and you would just sleep in the car on the way home. Sometimes you’d be so tired you couldn’t even jump into the car!
I didn’t realize how much of my mornings were spent taking care of you. We had our own little time then, didn’t we? I’m not a morning person, but I loved getting you out of your crate and taking you outside. You would stretch, as if it was so hard to wake up! Then you’d wag your tail, looking up at me with love. As I sat there and watched you eat your breakfast, you would keep wagging your tail. And if I started rubbing your back, that tail would just go crazy! It would always make me smile. Everyone should start off their mornings like that.
Camping with you is another special memory we have together - especially that first trip. You were so excited to sleep on the sleeping bag with me! And when you’d wake up in the morning you’d come and lick my face. You were adorable, and I immediately forgave you for waking me up. I also loved hiking with you. I don’t know how you had all that energy! I was so exhausted but you were just as bouncy and as excited as always. I was looking forward to many camping trips with you. As it was, we only had three together.
I’m sorry for all my shortcomings as your mommy. I was trying to be a better cuddler - that’s why those last few weeks I would lay on the floor and cuddle with you. I wanted you to know how much I loved you and how special you were to me, even if it was hard for me to show it. I wanted you to know that you never had to worry about me leaving you - that I was committed to you for life.
We are going to be packing up your things in the next few days, Jera. It makes me sad to see them empty, without you. Your toys and your bones - they all remind me of you, as if you were really here and will be back in a minute. I really really wish you were coming back for sure. I hope you DO come back. I hope wherever you are, that someone finds you and turns you in. All they have to do is scan your microchip and you are home free. I will rejoice if that day comes, but I need to realize that it may not. I would have loved to have been your mommy for the next 15 years. I hope I get to be, but I know it’s up to God now. We’ve done all we can - we tried hard, Jera. God knows where you are and He’ll bring you back if He wants to. I am praying that He does that. In the meantime, I’ll try to move on so that my heart can grieve for you and begin to heal again. Who knows, maybe you’ll turn up again after 6 years just like my cat Yum Yum?
So, dear Jera, stay safe wherever you are, and please come home. We love you so much. I hope you always remember that.
Your mommy forever,