We’ve Only Just Begun

In January, our beloved companion of more than 10 years, Abby the boxer, decided she couldn’t deal with another Minnesota winter and checked out. Four months later, I still think about her and miss her every day. In the days and weeks following Abby’s demise, Michele and I did a few things that would likely seem silly to anyone who hasn’t faced the death of a longtime pet. Michele put one of her blankets in a zipped plastic bag, sealing in her scent. I packed up most of her toys even though we planned to adopt another dog. I guess we were just trying to do whatever we could to keep her around.

About a month ago, we adopted Zoe. Like Abby, she’s a reverse brindle boxer. However, Zoe’s personality is very different. Abby was motivated by treats. Zoe is motivated by affection. Abby loved licking my feet. Zoe isn’t really into feet. Abby’s lifelong goal was to pee on every square inch of the nearest park. Zoe rarely marks anything outside of our yard. 

Getting to know Zoe’s personality quirks has made the past several weeks a lot of fun. And even though I know someday I’ll probably find myself packing up her toys or sealing up one of her blankets, every minute between now and then will make the eventual sadness and grief worthwhile.