“I loved you best”


He was resting, laying upon the soft, wet grass that borders the walking path at the bottom of our Cul-de-sac, his human standing patiently beside him.

As soon as he saw Jack, his eyes brightened. I’m not sure he’s as eager to see Jack as Jack is to see him. Jack, possessed of all the energy and exuberance of a young dog, immediately strained against his leash, as if pulling a heavy sled, to go and greet him.

Maybe he remembers his own youth. Maybe that sparkle in his soft, brown eyes signals a memory of running and playing, before pain. He always romped to see Murphy, our first wheaten, years ago when both were young.

His muzzle is mostly white now, and he needs help standing after he’s been laying down. His right hip almost looks like it dislocates when he takes that first step, but there isn’t any other hint of pain or discomfort.

There is not an ounce, not a milligram of self-pity or frustration in his face. All I ever see in his eyes is kindness and compassion, as if he knows his purpose in the lives he touches.

Is that possible? Could that be true?

What a great, noble soul Rudy is.

How I wish I could be more like him and less like the human I am, filled with judgment and petty self-interest.

How I wish I could feel his joy in simply walking, surrounded by familiar sights and smells, despite pain, despite the bother.

How I wish I could reflect his instantaneous acceptance of any other soul he encounters, without regard to the vessel in which it is contained, old or young, bald or mohawked, fat or thin, black or white or brown.

I think he knows his time now is brief. Is that possible? Could that be true?

Dogs are so acutely attuned to human emotion that I think he must feel what I see, but I don’t sense any fear or anxiety. Only love.

I will miss seeing Rudy every day.

I hope I don’t forget what he is teaching me today.

I hope I am always worthy of his love.