Dear Sam

I still miss you my old friend and as the Winter of depression chills my heart and soul I wish that you were here again. In this clouding mind, my thoughts of you have always been clear, a true constant.

Do you remember that Summer day when my Parents brought you home on my 16th birthday? The door burst open and in you swept, all puppy legs and energy. The chaos of that wagging tail smashed everything in sight as wag turned to swirl and nothing was safe. I swear I saw you smiling as I knelt down and then you kissed my hands and face until I was swamped in love. We both knew that you had found your true place.

We grew together and moved as one, swapped our moods, you knew my secrets and teenage doubts while I covered up for the missing biscuits and Father’s best toffees – we gave each other balance. Those endless hours of Summer play in the garden and then back in the family room you would curl around and fall asleep at my feet, exhausted and loved.

When my studies called me far away they said you stayed in your bed for days – I missed you too Sam but weren’t those homecomings extra sweet! Do you remember the treat of a drive to the sea and a run through the dunes to the shore? I still see your puzzled face, looking up at the screaming gulls as they launched to the skies – you never did understand flight did you boy!

When cancer came and the Vet called time, I think my heart, my laughter and youth all died with you and I started to age. Even as I knelt to say goodbye you gave me your paw and wagged that blessed tail but I ran in tears before I would see it stop.

Your favourite path up to the village church is overgrown now, every paw print long gone. Each point where you would dive headlong through the hedge chasing after an interesting scent is healed over and lost, just as I still feel lost without you.