We’ve been honoring the anniversary of our dog’s passing. Four years ago, Henry let us know it was time for him to go. My guy and I carried him into our vet’s office, which looked more like a home than a business.
In one of the small rooms we placed our beloved Golden on the soft rug, sitting with Henry as we petted him into pure peace. At his last breath, the vet cried softly with us, and I confess, I continued to pet him for another 30 minutes.
In the ensuing four years, we’ve missed him, but perhaps strangely to some, we’ve felt his presence. My guy swore he saw Henry sitting by my side while we were watching T.V. Henry’s been in my dreams, too. I woke up one middle-of –the-night a year ago, my hand petting an empty space beside the bed. In the dream, he was right there with me.
So while my guy and I finished up our winter vacation earlier this month with our left coast family, we spoke of Henry with joy and respect for the 12 years he gave us, for the unconditional love he displayed.
My guy flew back to our New England home before me while I stayed with friends. Because of the nor’easters that played havoc with planes, trains, and automobiles, I arrived home two days late.
My guy picked me up at the airport. As we approached our place 40 minutes later, he interrupted our catch-up conversation, cleared his throat, and said, “Something strange was waiting for me when I got home.”
That got my attention.
“What?” I asked, trying to not get stressed after a tranquil time away.
“I’ll show you,” he continued, rather mysteriously. After we parked the car, he pointed to a tiny object by our front door. “This.”
The object was less than an inch high, ceramic, with a small string attached at the top.
“Oh!” I said. “That’s an ornament from our Christmas tree.” Odd, since we de-frocked our tree of all decorations on January 1, placed it in the woods next to our house for three days, and then onto the curb where our local recycling truck picked it up on January 4.
I picked up the tiny white ornament, shaped like a snowman, and gasped.
A name was etched across it:
I remembered that 15 years ago, I’d found this bauble at a store and bought it for our Christmas tree. We hung it up every year for Henry, and continued to trim the tree with his little ornament even after he was gone.
My guy looked at me with wide eyes.
I returned his mystified expression with a smile.
“I told you, Henry may be gone, but his energy still finds a way to say hi.”