Phantom Dog

The gentle brush by my leg, the sound of your paw on the sliding glass door in back, the movement on the dog pillow by the side of my bed. It’s surprising how often I’ve caught myself saying, “Time to get the paper,” or “Time to get the mail.” I still look behind me before I scoot my chair away from my desk, thinking you’re curled up next to me. Your spiritual energy is everywhere.

Pumpkin has taken to sleeping next to the life-size stuffed animal on the guest bed. How does she know it’s a border collie? Is she grieving in her own way and capturing some comfort from something that may look like you?

It’s been over two months and I still look for you, feel you everywhere: your toys, your leashes, your pillow, your blanket. I can’t walk the trails we explored without wiping a tear. I am happiest sharing my life with a dog, and someday I will welcome and love this pup as much as I love you. Someday… Until then, I will listen for your paws on the back door and your gentle breathing on the pillow by the side of my bed.

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