Dear Hydin,

I heard you barking in your sleep last night. It sounded like an adventure. You were chasing something you no longer had the strength to chase. I wondered what it was. I laughed when I knew it could be nothing but a squirrel. You loved chasing squirrels. But as I listened, and your sleepy “roo’s” turned to soft snores, I began to remember how happy you once were.

You used to bark all the time, and it wasn’t just a normal bark. “Roo! Rarooh!” You were so noisy, and I’ll admit that sometimes it annoyed me. It was never anything major, of course. Anything could excite you into a frenzy of noise and bouncing and panting. I’d get up to see what all the fuss was about then glance back at you. I could see the pride on your face, so glad you’d alerted us to the car door that had closed across the street.

Once the humans were up in the mornings, you were prancing around the house on those long toenails of yours. “Click, clack, click, clack.” Breakfast was all you could think about. And the afternoons were even better. That’s when you got your can of green beans with dinner. You loved that. I guess you never figured out we were just trying to fill you up without all the extra weight.

I miss you already. I miss seeing you in the front yard, rolling in the grass. It was always best when you found a dead bug or worm to rub yourself all over. I’d look away in disgust. Really, that was just gross. But man you loved dead things. Living things too. June bug season would arrive and so the hunt began. Every night was a feast. Juicy beetles all for you!

But here I am now, remembering that last pat on the head I gave you, knowing the last kiss was the last ever. Dinner was strange without you under the table. I won’t hear your snores, or your constant licking of the pillows. I won’t know that someone has just walked past the house, because I won’t hear your signal. It’s selfish of me, I know, to want you here still. You were in such pain. It wasn’t fair for me to make you stick around.

Letting you go was the hardest thing to do. I love you Hydin. I miss you. Good night and sweet dreams. Always.

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