Fluffy coil of tail like a furry snake sunning itself on your rump. Your eyes constantly playing peek-a-boo behind your fur. Your jut-jaw smirk. Long rumply ears. A puddle of fur on your chair, where you lounge the day away, rousing yourself for comings and goings, for another dog outside to gruff and whuff at, warning the house. Most of the time you sleep, head hanging off the chair, eye only twitching when someone passes and says your name. You don't like sharing the chair but we squeeze in anyway. When the daily walk comes your tail starts to wobble back and forth like a badly-made hairpiece coming loose.
I called you names and I scratched your ears and we wandered our neighborhood together. I was the one to give you baths, but I think you forgave me. Sometimes we were solar-powered together, sunning ourselves in front of the window or on the deck. Sometimes I lay flat on my stomach in front of you, and you, Sphinx-like, gazed unblinking back at me as my fingers splayed along your skull and I wondered if you could understand, could share the nectar of affection.
Does God give us animals to teach us how to have affection for something that from a purely utilitarian perspective is completely useless? To love something incapable of returning the same equal, human affection?
You would not be interested in such philosophical or theological speculations. You would yawn wide and roll a lazy eye at me before going back to sleep. You are a part of the family I've left behind, but the only one I can't keep in touch with. I write this for my own sake, not for yours. You are not a literary dog, even if you have slept with your head on my textbooks before.
Little friend, you're small, often you're ridiculous, but you're missed.