|Cromwell - May 18, 1997-April 2, 2012|
Cromwell is at the Rainbow Bridge
Solna's Bull Durham
You were just four weeks old when we first met and you wriggled into my heart, taking up far more space than I had imagined a puppy could. How did 15 years pass so quickly?
I remember telling my family I wanted to get a dog. A dog? It was unfathomable. We were cat people. And then I brought you home. Eight weeks old and the most wonderful little creature I had ever met. Everyone fell instantly in love, and it was a love that endured.
I've never been sure whether you grew into your name or your name found you. But even as a puppy, you were gentle, never nipping or biting. Such a little gentleman. You were so smart, so eager to please, and so attuned to me. That never changed. Within days you knew our routine, within weeks you knew dozens of words, and within months, you knew the names of all your toys and could retrieve each of them when I asked.
Each night, before bed, I'd head to hallway and tell you we were turning off the light. You'd follow me, always eager to go. But this time, it was your little light I had to turn off, leaving a darkness in my life.
The people at the vet's office always called you the Un-Pug. I don't think you ever licked anyone but us. You refused all treats from strangers. If you hadn't been as mellow as you were, we likely never would have adopted more pugs. We thought they'd all be like you-we hadn't realized yet just how special you were.
No matter who came into the house, you greeted them with a toy in your mouth, moving around them in little circles, weaving a net of joy no one could resist. To you, everyone was a friend. And everyone responded to you, whether they liked dogs or not. You had a quality that made people want to stop and pet you, talk to you, play with you.
With your double coat, you were plush and soft, and I never tired of stroking you. More than once, you were able to soothe my soul that way. Your tail was long when it was straight, and you pulled it up into a double curl. We always said it rolled around on your back like a cinnamon bun when you wagged it.
You followed me everywhere, every day, my constant companion. Not seeing your little face under my desk while I am working breaks my heart. You were my first dog, my only puppy, and you became my heart dog, that once-in-a-lifetime friend. I spent every moment of the past 15 years loving you, and losing you now, this way, has almost broken me. Cutaneous lymphoma. It doesn't seem possible that the rare cancer that took Wagner from us less than a year ago has taken you so cruelly now.
After all the other losses, I had asked you to wait a year, to stay with me for at least a year, if you could. And you did, trying as you always had to give me everything. Even as you were dying, you still struggled to your feet to follow me, struggled to stay with me. But we were just borrowing time, we knew, and now, I say goodbye to my Crommie, my Bobo, my Mister Bear, my Little Love, my Puffalump, my Soft Puppy, my Muffin Man.
I will forever miss the dog who ran to his spot each night to get his eye medication because it meant going to the big bed with a cookie afterward. I will miss the dog who every night snuggled onto the pillow beside my head, giving a big contented sigh before going to sleep. I'll miss the dog who was always by my side, even off leash in the park, walking perfectly, never straying, and waiting by his tree at the end so I could snap the leash back on. And I will miss the dog who taught me so much about kindness, patience, and unconditional love.
Rest peacefully, my sweet Cromwell.