I had three dogs in my life during the past couple of years. Until today.
I love dogs. Tippy. Ember. Barnabas. Charley. All have come and gone through the years.
When I moved to New York, I traveled too much to have a dog of my own. Through the years, I have become attached to the dogs of others.
Henrik belongs to my son Sean and lives in Chelsea. I see him now and then. I get to walk him. I stayed with him one long weekend when Sean was in London.
Bentley lives in Maryland with my son Eric and daughter-in-law Essie. I don’t see him as often as I would like. The last time was last fall.
Boxster. A pug, Boxster belonged to my friends Nicole and Desi. He lived in the same apartment complex as I do.Of the three dogs, I met Boxster first. Nicole is a massage therapist, trainer, and nutritionist. I went to her apartment for my first massage. Boxster greeted me as I came in. I got on the table, put my face in the face cradle. I heard something moving on the floor. When I opened my eyes, there stood Boxster, his sparkling eyes looking up at mine.
Nicole freaked, just a little bit. She apologized and told Boxster to leave. I reached around the face cradle and scratched him under his chin.
We became friends at that moment.
The friendship spanned a number of years. In his younger years, Boxster would recognize the sound of the elevator and be standing at the door when I knocked, eyes sparkling.
As he aged, Boxster celebrated his 16th birthday this year, he did not get around as nimbly. But whenever I came by, he would get up to see me, his eyes sparkled, and he would have me have me pet and scratch him. Except his butt. I have standards.
When I ran my first 5K, Sean ran with me and Nicole, Desi, and Boxster, his eyes sparkling, greeted us at the finish line.
He had a wonderful celebration of his 15th birthday. I was delighted to be there with family, neighbors, and friends and Boxster T. Man with sparkling eyes. He patiently allowed himself to be dressed for his birthday just as he had allowed himself to be dressed for Halloweens and the Pride Parade.
Over the last year or so, I became one of Boxster’s substitute walkers. Some days he did better than others. Always, his eyes sparkled.
Today at 1:47 PM, my phone rang. It was Nicole. I assumed she was calling to set up a time to go to the gym in our apartment complex.
When she started to speak, I knew it was not about the gym. Before she could tell me, I knew it was about Boxster.
Boxster had visited the vet. And the vet had said it was time. Nicole and Desi were bringing him back for one last visit at home. They put me on speaker phone and I spoke to Boxster. My voice cracked a couple times as I did.
Then Nicole offered me the most incredible gift. She asked if I would like to meet them in the parking lot as they went back to their apartment. Of course, I said yes.
We talked. We cried. I held Boxster. I scratched him under his chin one last time. At one point we made eye contact and those brown eyes sparkled up at me.
A couple hours later, a couple hours ago, Boxster crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. There Tippy, Ember, Barnabas, Charley, and all the pets that people loved met Boxster, welcomed him, loved him. And there Boxster waits, with sparkling eyes, for Nicole and Desi.
You are loved, Boxster. You will never be forgotten.