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Sweet embraceable you - Sid
A letter for my dog, on his 9th birthday.
My sweet embraceable Sid. 9 years of life curled at my feet.
Every time I see him turn a year older I am reminded of the first year and how I wondered where we would be. Unsure of the hills ahead but knowing I’d be stood at the top of them with him every single time.
He is my constant. He is my North Star. And occasionally my hoover.
I adore him. I could draw him in the dark and find him with my eyes closed - not having to search far because he would be by my side. Always by my side. Walking into the hours together towards sleep with dreams of tomorrow where we get to do it all again. Lucky me, lucky us.
I know my life in dog years. In Sid years. And lately it seems as though they pass by in blinding speed.
9 long and full years somehow tucked neatly away inside my body. The memories sometimes pressed against my spine, forcing the hair to stand up.
His eyes have started to fog a little, the hazel in them now veiled in a slight white. He has grey hair now too - the kind that stays and multiplies rather than sheds in the summer as we walk the beach. As do I.
I tell myself we are growing old together - because we are.
Growing older, but together. How great is that.
And yet he is unchanged, he is the same lump of love looking up at me each morning. And as I find the light switch and fill the room and wake him up, I find myself asking him the same question every time - “did you have a good sleep buddy?” - I know his answer. If a dog is one thing it is well rested.
I am constantly confronted with his impermanency. I know that eventually one of us will be without the other. Physically at least. No second shadow.
And though I don’t like to, I think about it often. Perhaps preparing myself for it. Even in these early old years. It is a grief I do not want to meet.
I recently met a woman who’s lurcher lived till it was 18 so I know there’s a life left yet. And though my body is filled with the last 9 years of him, of us, I am vacant and open and have my arms stretched wide to let the rest in. The rest of all these years, however many they may be,
the dog years,
the Sid years.
To Sid, at 9. Perfect and loving and there, always there.
May we always stand together on every hill, in every lifetime.