I’ve had many animals during my life, but I have never really loved any of them. That changed when Theodore came along.
We rescued Milly from the side of the road and had no idea she was pregnant. The night she gave birth to two puppies was amazing. I had never seen a dog give birth before, that’s the night I met my little Theo. I bonded instantly with this dog and though my wife fought me on it, I kept him. He was my dog since his first breath, and I knew he was something very special.
I remember the day he opened his eyes and started to see. A few days after that he was by my side whenever he could be. As the days turned to weeks and weeks to months our bond grew. He greeted me every morning and all during the day we were together. Since I work from home, there was really no time we were apart. He slept in my office and and came over to jump in my lap several times a day, just to say hi.
His favorite thing to do was lick my face and gently chew on my nose. I don’t know why, but it was his thing. He also smelled like a Frito chip. I don’t know how to explain it, but his mere presence made me so happy. Watching that little guy run across the front yard made me smile every time. I have never loved an animal like I did this little guy.
Our nightly routine was to hang on the couch and watch TV. Me, Theo, his mom Milly and Brandi. We have been doing that for a long time. Milly and Theo would wrestle, then play with us, usually that included a ball or some stuffed toy, and then Theo would end the evening snuggled on Brandi’s lap.
I have never loved an animal like this. He was more than a dog. He was there for me during some very hard times. It’s like he was more than a Dog.
Today I called for him and only Milly came. I knew something was wrong and as I walked outside a bit more I saw him laying on the road. I ran to him, but it was too late. He must have just been hit and instantly killed. He lie there lifeless with his eyes open, but gone. I picked up his limp body and walked to the house. I was crying out loud and I did not realize it. I got back into our driveway and suddenly my legs could no longer hold me and I collapsed and started wailing. I don’t cry, and I don’t wail, but I had no control. My little friend is gone.
This morning he greeted me in bed with the licks and nose chewing he always does. At breakfast I shared my eggs with him, something I always do. Did. We watched church from home today because one of the kids was sick, he snuggled next to me during the service and slept. And now he was in my arms, and he was gone. Just like that, my daily routine has changed in a mighty way.
We buried him as a family. It’s still not real. I cleaned up his toys, though I shoved his favorite little toy into my pocket. It’s going to go into my memory box, which has just two other items. Something that belonged to me mom and something that belonged to my dad. I hate that memory box. I really do.
Theo, I can’t believe that tomorrow you won’t be there. I am so sorry I was not there to protect you little bud, because I would have. I don’t know how it works, but I really, really hope that some day I get to see you again. You were one of the biggest sources of joy in my life and I feel your absence deeply.