Skip you were just a child when we rescued you from the RSPCA. I had recently watched the movie My Dog Skip and I spent the entire week pulling at the leg of my father to buy me a Jack Russell. As we left the car, an Australian family carrying three Jack Russells were approaching the RSPCA. A song escaped from my lungs as I pointed in excitement, my dad made conversation and we soon left with my very own Jack Russell. I adored you. Took a photo with my phone, printed it out and stuck it on my notebook. Let you sleep in my bed every night and I couldn’t understand why my father sent you outside when you accidentally wet the bed. You were my dog, you were my friend. You didn’t know better.
But isn’t it cruel that for every year I age I grow more jaded, but your love will still burn as brightly as it did when I first held you in my arms? I don’t want to colour myself as a saint, there were times in adolescence where I neglected you because I thought I was busy or troubled and I needed my own space. But you were still there for me. You escaped from home on a regular basis and I would chase you through the park until we were both covered in mud, laughing and barking at each other. I always thought that was your way of cheering me up… or maybe you’re just a really naughty and hyperactive dog. Thanks for lying with me in the grass with me as I looked to the sky for an answer to my sadness, I treasured your company.
9:00 PM on the 13th of October you stopped breathing. The pain of ageing subsided and the flicker of your paw whenever you craved attention fell limp. You were with us just a minute ago, your body is still warm. The fur on your ears still feel like velvet running through my fingers. I’m sorry you had to go through this, I’m sorry that I was selfish and wanted you to stay with us just a little longer. But your heartbeat was growing weaker and it was time to let you go. A cardboard box filled with a brush tangled with your hair, the first leash you hated so much that you pulled at it until it broke, a soft toy and your body wrapped in blue.
I wish I could give you more, but all I have are these words. That’s all I am, and you know this sitting at my feet as I wrote my poems and novels. Thanks for being my dog, thank you for being my friend.