Mari, this morning was tough. For the first time since you’ve been missing, I overslept. Normally I wake in time to feed you, but not today, and I felt awful about it. We can’t get used to your absence — not in any way — it’s not allowed. And then there was the way I woke up: in my dream I yelled, “Where’s my dog?” so loud I startled awake.
Mari, sometimes following you feels like chasing a ghost. You appear for an instant and then vanish, leaving no physical trail for us to pursue. Other times I think we must be the ghosts haunting you. Do you cross our paths and smell something vaguely familiar that reminds you of some other time and place? Has your street life become normal now, a book end to your previous existence, your time with us some odd dream?
I know that when you’re not actively trying to stay safe, full, and warm, you miss us, your pack, in some way — that certainty of belonging somewhere and to a group. We have our immediate pack and our extended one with dog friends like Emma and Murray and Toby and Pirate. We all miss you.
At Thanksgiving, Emma kept looking for you. We were there. Why weren’t you? She kept investigating us as though we might be hiding you in a pocket. Do we still smell like you? All of the dogs who come over search for you, so we must bear some traces (besides our eagerness to greet all things fuzzy).
I’ve been feeling rather maudlin lately, pup. I know, it’s ridiculous, right? You’re the one out there alone, fending for yourself, little toughie that you are, and your people are being absurd. If our positions were reversed, there’d be no sentimental nonsense. You’d just go out and search and huff at anyone who couldn’t keep up. For all of your silliness, you can get pretty indignant.
“Come on! What’re you waiting for? There are things to sniff and roll in and investigate! Let’s go!”
But you get some rest, okay, Mari girl? I’m sure that tomorrow another adventure awaits, and we’ll keep chasing after you, but like we say every night, I really hope you find someplace safe and warm to rest and that you found some yummy Thanksgiving leftovers. I’m sending you warm thoughts against tonight’s chill and hope that your crazy fur and pantaloons are doing their job. Good night, little one. Stay safe and smart. We miss you and love you.