Mari, no one ever taught you to take your toys to bed, but at some point you began doing it on your own. You never wanted to go to bed before me, but when I’d start turning off the lights and say, “Upstairs. Bed!” you’d grab your favorite toy of the moment, trot upstairs, and sit by the bed while I straightened the sheets. I’d say, “Up!” and you’d launch yourself onto the foot of the bed, toy in mouth.
You’d sit by the toy box when you wanted a toy, by the food container when you wanted dinner (or were trying to trick us into giving you dinner at some random time), by the door when you wanted to go out. Sometimes I’d pull out a toy for you, and you’d look away. “Pff — as if I want that.” When I’d get it right, though, you’d jump up, take the toy, and run off, usually whacking it around or tossing it in the air and pouncing on it.
Then there were the times you’d bring over the toys you thought were our favorites so we’d play with you. Clearly you thought I liked the stuffed squirrel and your dad liked the fox best. And how could we resist?
I miss getting up and having a tennis ball roll off the bed. You’d always go to your own bed after a few hours, but you’d leave your toys behind, and I’d laugh every morning.
Oh, Mari. These nights are so cold and windy, and I know you must be hungry and lonely. I just hate thinking about you out there at night… the days are tough, but I can picture you enjoying walks, finding a rock and a patch of sun, but night time? You should be home, curled up with your toys, safe and warm and smiling.
I miss you so much, little one. I hope you’re staying warm and found something to eat. Have a good night, my pup, and please let us find you.