The story of Wix's Lexi. She lived. She loved. But alas she has left.
I think its the little things that I'll miss most about her, and having her around.
Its the routines that you develop when you have a dog, that suddenly feel vacant without your companion.
I have no problem saying that Lexi was one of the best friends I've ever had. For almost exactly 10 years, she was by my side for as much as 8 or 9 hours a day. My faithful, loyal, happy companion, and we went everywhere together, from the grocery store, to visiting friends, to long walks in the woods or on the beach, to just hanging out at home. With my strange hours as a morning radio personality, I would often arrive home well before noon, a full 5-6 hours before my wife would come home. So for that time, every day for 10 years, it was Lexi and me.
And she was a magnificent dog. So well behaved, so friendly, so happy. While I did train Lexi, and take some credit for her behaviour, I have no idea how she learned to just sit on the front porch, for sometimes hours at a time, whether or not anyone was home, and chill. Cars, other dogs, people, delivery drivers, none of it pulled her from her porch perch. Only when a vehicle actually pulled into our driveway, would she move.
And yes, its the routine things that have dissapeared.
-Maybe the hardest to get over, is how she greeted me anytime I came home. With such unbridled love and devotion. Even if I had just stepped out for a few minutes. Coming home now, to that empty home, is kinda sad.
-Hearing her clickity-click steps into the bedroom as the sun would rise every morning, knowing we'd soon be up to give her a pat, and on special weekends, that was the only time she was permitted to jump up onto the bed for a little morning quality time with Deb and I.
-Clearing the dishes, and finding that wonderful little puddle of beef juice under the steak, knowing how well that would go with her dry kibble the next day. Now that delicious elixir simply goes to waste.
-Watching her take her position on our boat, up front on the hatch cover, much to the delight of passing boaters who would point at her with a big smile and wave. She would seem un-impressed, but I always knew she loved the attention.
-Watching her stand in chest-deep water for hours, at her favorite spot, fishing the shore-line, in hopes of that one chance at catching a minnow, her tail wagging feverishly the entire time. She never got one.
-How she would come in for a walk, as thirsty as all get-out, but would stand by her water bowl and stare at me, until I put fresh, clean water in it for her.
-The way she would whine her thank you's, and rub her head against your leg, when you added something wonderful to her otherwise boring dry food.
-The way she gently scratched at the front door, but never barked, when it was time to come inside.
-Just passing her bed in the Family Room and checking to see if she was crashed out. Now that bed, a fixture for 10 years, is gone.
There are literally hundreds of such routines, some very small, others that strike me daily now.
And the culmination of all of those routine things we did, have shown me over the last few weeks just how much she meant to me, to us.
And the outpouring from friends, even listeners, about my loss has given me even more proof of what a special friend she was.
I will get a new dog, at some point.
But for now, with her ashes sitting on the table above where her bed used to sit, the memories are still too fresh. Not painful, because I know she lived the life most dogs would dream of, but fresh just the same.
I miss you Lexi. You were one of a kind.