My childhood companion, Sassy, died today. I still remember bringing her home in December 1997, her small body tucked into the sleeve of my coat, hidden against the winter weather. I can still feel her resting on my arm, where she had burrowed to escape the cold. I had picked her out from the litter, and from that moment she was mine and owned my heart.
She became my confidant. I could tell her things and cry to her, knowing she couldn't tell my secrets or counter with stern words. She only offered comfort. We went to lots of places together and shared good times. And then I eventually moved away to college but wished she could join me. I remember how excited she would get driving with Mom to pick me up some weekends. She always seemed to know when they were close to the school, and I felt so excited to get to spend time with her again. I will always treasure those weekends.
She grew older and more frail but still lively, especially when a new (and larger) dog was brought into the house. Sammy probably kept her feeling younger until she just couldn't anymore.
Sassy died this morning, cared for by my wonderful mother through the night (who I know is just as torn up about it). Mom--you did well by her, and I am glad for it.
I will miss you, my old friend.