A year ago yesterday

A year ago yesterday I wrote this post about Levi. I meant to remember the moment it happened, but it passed me by in time-change confusion and excitement over chilly nights. In truth, I've been remembering it for months, so it's not so surprising that the anniversary slipped past me.

I remember that horrible night when I think I see my sweet baby dog out of the corner of my eye, but really it's just my boots.

I remember his sweet, soft face in the middle of the night when I mistake a pillow for his large, slumbering body.

Rooster remembers him whenever we hear fire crackers, a car back fire, or thunder and often says, "Poor Levi would be miserable right now. I miss that guy..."

And I remember him in a visceral way that knocks the wind out of me: my heart is light as I crack open the front door and expect to see his black, wiggling body and snuffling nose to greet me, but it isn't there. That moment is the most painful, the let down that he isn't there and will never be there again.

I have no desire to get another dog. None. For one, my hands are full with a two year old and my fraying sanity; and two, my heart isn't ready for it. I am not prepared to love a set of four legs again like I did Levi. He was my everything for so long and he so gracefully transitioned to second place once Hollis was born I haven't stopped giving him top billing in my heart yet. He deserves more time there.

This summer, on a hot, still day, I hiked down to the greenbelt with Rooster and Hawk and Levi's ashes. It was an emotional moment for me and one I hadn't even been certain that I wanted others to witness. In the end, I realized that Rooster had known, loved, and lived with Levi for 6 years, had witnessed his decline and death, and therefore deserved to be with me and Levi when I sprinkled his ashes. I'm glad I made that choice.

We hiked to the little swimming hole, now dry as bone, and climbed the cliff with the "No Cliff Diving" sign. The wind gusted, as did my temper, and foiled the more romantic notion of letting the ashes blow in the wind. In the end, Rooster carefully dumped the ashes in a little pile next to a yellow daisy in the limestone and we walked away. Me, eyes filled with tears and a toddler on my back. Rooster, silent and steadfast beside me.

I could never have asked for a better animal to share my life with. He was gentle, sweet, easy going, and his spirit won over everyone he met. He was just that kind of dog. I miss him every day, although a little less with each passing minute. I have pictures of him scattered sparingly throughout the house.

I don't think I could handle many more reminders of him. I almost burst into tears the moment I realized the wedding painting we had our friends fill in was still missing his paw prints.

Levi, sweet baby dog, I love you and miss you and hope you're having a splendid time chasing rabbits in a fire-cracker-free world.


  1. what a beautiful and moving post... i understand you very well, i've lost my kitten on October 25th. he was so clever and beautiful... i'll never forget him.
    i'm thinking now about my beautiful memories and looking at his pictures all the time.
    i'm with you...

  2. Awww... sorry Jessica... :( This was a beautiful post, though. And lovely pictures to always remember him by!

  3. beautiful yet sad post....it is hard to forget a loved one whether he's got 4 or 2 legs

  4. What a heartfelt post. I find it hard to understand how you can love a dog so deeply, but I've never had a dog (and maybe cats just aren't so lovable). Nevertheless, lovely post.

  5. i'm not sure i can read that link to levi because i'm a sniffling snarfling weepy mess just reading this post. i am happy you got to have him and he got to have you in his life for so long but am also so terribly sorry he's no longer here. my baby dog (almost 8 yrs) is my lifeblood too and although she has stepped back twice in the ranks she is always going to be the queen of my heart.

  6. nope....just tried to read the link to the levi post but filled up hot with tears all over again. wow. what a weenie mom i am.

  7. i am so sorry for your loss and thankful that you have so many wonderful memories with him... sounds like he was much loved...

  8. oh what beautiful pictures!!! Very touching post! I think we all have animals that have effected out lives. I had the best Beagle in the world we had to put asleep right after my dad died. It was really hard!!

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  9. Oh, sad! What a well-loved and well-missed sweet dog. I read the link about his death, and now I'm crying. I love the picture of him leaping into the river. It seems very symbolic of a journey forward.