Friday, October 21, 2011

Somewhere Bright and Cool

This week has been one of trying to adjust. After twelve years of sharing each of my many homes with her, I still expect Georgie to greet my car, walk up from the barn, or peek out from the shade of the porch.

The collar that encircled her neck every single day since 1999 is now empty and coiled on my dresser along with a lock of her hair. It will take time for it all to sink in.

Cabbage always asks “How are you?” And I respond by shaking my head, or silently meeting his eyes for a moment. His expression and voice soft, he comforts me with one of several kind replies:
“She’s worth missing.”
“I understand.”
“You’ll be ok. It takes time.”
And always, without fail:
“I got your back.”

All of this, and especially everything that is still good and right in my life, makes every day ok. I still laugh and smile and eat dinner and sleep at night. I just miss my JoJo, and instead of her as my constant companion, I have an achy sadness. Eventually I know I’ll feel better and have a different normal without her sweet face but I’m just not there yet.

I was thinking the other day of this photo.

I took it about eight years ago, soon after I got Maybe. It reminds me of those early halcyon days when I was still stunned that he was mine, that I actually had a horse of my own, and that he was such a beautiful and fascinating creature.

I had this photo a long time, and looked at it dozens of times, before I even realized Maybe wasn’t the only one in the frame.

We all recognize that black and tan face.

This. This was Georgie. 

She was a barn dog, a one-person dog, a goofball “helping” work a horse, and above all a happy and constant companion.

I remember that fall day; the sky was clear and blue in that singular Colorado shade, and from our perch on the high plains we had a panoramic view of the mountains all along the front range. The breeze blew crisp, dry air scented with grass and hay. Maybe and Georgie were happy and playful, teasing each other from opposite sides of the fence.

It’s so easy to picture them now together in a place not so different from that. I hope they’re playing again, both of them young and whole and joyful, somewhere bright and cool.

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