I feel like it was just yesterday. He would have been sauntering into my studio about this time of day...giving me that look that says "Mom, it's time for dinner." But it's been six years.

I've been doing some fall cleaning lately. The other day, I was going through a box of old pictures when I ran across a particular one that made me sit there on the floor and weep a little. It was one of Wolfie at Christmas-time.

Who was Wolfie? He was my beloved Maltese "fuzzy snow puff" who died six years ago.

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I remember when I first met him.

The lady brought out the tiniest fuzzy snow-puff I'd even seen. She held him under his front legs, facing me, so that as she walked toward me his little paw-arms splayed forward and out, as if ready for a hug.

He was tiny and pink when she handed him to me. He was light as a feather. He opened one sleepy eye and and he licked my nose once, then drifted to sleepy-town again.

He was so little I could set him in the bathtub while I got ready for work. He'd be in there with his toys and trainer pads and I'd know he was secure.

I'd listen to his tiny whisper-barks as he slept.

As he got a little older, he used to make me get up when the alarm went off. I think he hated the alarm more than I did, It would go off, snooze. Again. Snooze. Again. Hit snooze like a frickin’ ninja.

Finally, he’d start pressing against me, and every time I moved to hit snooze, he'd move closer and closer, inching me off the bed until I got up. He'd stretch and stand and BAR-ROO-ROO at me.

How many “every days” did I walk in the door to his wagging tail and excitement over what the evening would bring? How many dumb movies, unhealthy snacks, and games of “bark at hand under the covers” and how many “BAR-ROO-ROO’s” did he sing? So many.

He loved the holidays He also loved my Mom so much. He loved bits of Taco Bell bean burritos. He loved love. *sigh*

So many happy years. Every day of his life was a joy.

I knew it had been time to let him go earlier in 2015. He clearly didn’t feel good and had dementia. It was my selfishness and awkwardness stopping me from making the call to set him free. I knew that it wasn’t kind to expect him to live another year this way. But there were moments that gave me pause...

As long as I saw him sniff the cooler air, or lick my hand with a tad more enthusiasm than normal, or seem happy to share a bean burrito from Taco Bell with me, those little joys justified my keeping him here a little longer. Sorry about that, sweet one.

So many moments. I miss you, buddy. I hope I see you again some day.

If you have an animal friend--please, be extra sweet to them today. Every moment is precious.

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