I lost my soulmate, my 15 year old Bearded Collie, Bonny, about 6 weeks ago. I have wanted to write a tribute, something that would be worthy of her indomitable spirit and her zest for life, but all my attempts have fallen short. I decided to write some notes to Bonny. Hopefully she will feel the love and know how much she is missed. She was never critical of my writing, never critical of anything at all.
Bonny, I still look for you on my quiet walks through the woods. Could you be just over the bank, wading in the creek as you were wont to do? You always were one to sneak off when my mind was diverted, and it takes me a moment to remember and realize that you won’t be coming back this time.
Is there a creek where you are? Are there deer to chase? Buzzards to bark at? You so loved to chase the buzzards. You’d run like the wind beneath them, lifting your front feet into the air as if to say, “Please, oh please, I want to fly with you. Your long ears would be flapping like the wings you wished you had.
Is Cayce there with you? I hope that you have found her and that you are romping in the fields as you used to do. I remember how it broke your heart when she passed away. Mayzie is also broken hearted and misses you so. She knew that you were very ill, and somehow, she understood that when we took you away and you didn’t come home with us, that you had gone to a better place. She is not the goofy puppy (even at 7 years old) that she was. She seems to have lost the sparkle in her eyes. Please tell her to be happy.
I’ve tried to spoil her and make her feel special. She actually has learned to catch a Frisbee. Can you believe it? Now that she’s not under your shadow, she finally got the confidence to claim the Frisbee as her own. But I think we have created a monster. She wants someone to throw the Frisbee all day long.
I know that another pup can never fill the void that you left in my heart, but we got a new puppy a few weeks ago. I can’t help but compare her to you when you were a pup. You were a willful imp, but you were the most endearing dog one could ever hope to have. God, I miss you so.
Mayzie is struggling to keep her sanity with our young Baylie. She has infinite patience with the pouncing and hair pulling, which you, as you remember, did not have. I’m hoping that in time they will grow to be good friends, just like you and Mayzie eventually were.
You were the most beautiful dog on the planet. Never have I seen a more gorgeous dog. You were a high maintenance blonde. Everything was about you. You doted on attention, and never met a stranger. You had the greatest gift of all. You made everyone smile. I am smiling through my tears.
I loved to stare into your eyes, infinite pools of green. I could feel how much you loved me. I hope that you know how special you were to me. I can hardly bear to look at your photo. It brings so much pain to know that I can’t stroke your ears and play with your golden hair.
Do you visit us? Are you able to come back to our world from yours? I often sit still and try to feel your spirit. I’m not sure how to know if you are with me? Can you give me a sign?
They’re calling for snow tonight. Not much, just an inch or so. Do you get any snow there? You were always so happy when you could run and play in the snow, until your feet turned into snowballs, and you’d beg to be carried… all 52 pounds of you.
I remember all the good times we had at the beach. It was your favorite place to be in the world. Even as you aged, you always became a puppy when we walked in the sand on the beach. I am so glad we had one last trip to the beach before you left us. It’s hard to believe that it was only two months before your death that you were prancing along the shore and riding on the prow of the little john boat as we putted around the marshes and inlets.
You were not a ditzy blonde, you were a rugged and brave defender of your territory. You remember tangling with the raccoon and getting bitten on the nose? You scared me to death. There was so much blood everywhere, I thought you had been ripped apart. A face washing revealed only two small punctures on your nose. And the time you grabbed the possum from under the fir tree and shook him till he died. Only to find him mysteriously gone 10 minutes later. That’s why they call it “playing possum”. You even chased a bear out of the yard after he broke into our chicken coop. And the worst of all was the night you took on the skunk. At 2:00 am. AND, Mayzie got sprayed, too. What a night.
Life was never dull with you, Bonny. You were pretty as a cover girl, but a farm dog at heart. You loved helping with the chores. I miss having you ride at my feet in the Kubota RTV. Mayzie still claims the front seat, so we’re training Baylie, the pup, to ride in your place on the floor.
I think even the llamas miss having you around.
Goodbye, Bonny. I hope to be reunited with you someday over that Rainbow Bridge. In the meantime, I will still look for your sign that you are looking over us. I love you.
Post Note:Thank you Bonny, I got your sign. Shortly after putting the finishing touches to my notes to you, I put the puppy, Baylie, to bed in her crate. We keep the crate in our walk-in closet, and when I settle her down for the night, I lay a faux mink throw in front of the cage and lie down with my fingers through the wire. She nuzzles up to my fingers, and when she has dropped off to sleep, I sneak into my own bed. Mayzie is jealous of the extra attention that I’m giving the puppy, and she generally sulks on her settee at the foot of the bed. Last night, as I lay on my mink blanket, I felt a warm nuzzle at my ankles. Mayzie came and lay down in the doorway of the closet and put her head on my feet. Maybe Mayzie was being empathetic and sensed my grief and was coming to comfort me. I’d like to believe that you came to Mayzie, and through her, gave me the sign I needed, to let me know that you were with me and all was well. Bonny, love, be at peace.