Cisco, I Miss You
(Person, 2390 views) - 10/21/06
(recorded 10/21/06 @ 5:51:38 PM)
What can I say, except that I have not the words. I'll try anyway.
You were a bright, yellow furball when we first brought you home, 8 years ago. You walked the yard as if you owned it, because sure enough, you already did.
You were a silly dog. You'd jump up on countertops and eat entire quantities of food you were certainly not supposed to come near.
You would wait patiently near the dinner table every night, knowing we'd eventually put our plates down for you, and that plenty of scraps would otherwise fly your way. You were one of the family.
You'd lay with my dad, or with me, or with anyone who'd come lay behind you, and you loved the attention. You'd stretch out for them, and roll over so that they'd go for the belly-rub.
You did some things that were completely unexpectedâ€”you'd cross your paws when you'd lie down, in the most regal of composures, happy to be alive. Something some labs do, apparently, but you nailed it every time.
You'd grab and stockpile socks like nothing else. I remember dozens of times where you'd go around the house, collecting socks (your record was nine) in your mouth, only to come around to one of us on the couch.
You'd sneak up, and actually drop the sock-mass on our laps, or so you'd have us believe, because the second we'd go for it, you'd snatch them away and be off running.
You'd play tug of war until the sock shred.
My dad taught you how to nibble gently at the end of his foot, and actually pull the sock off. You knew just how little to bite to avoid catching his toes.
You ate amazing quantities of things that should've hurt you far more than they ever did. You managed 2 lbs of frozen ground beef. You ate an entire plastic bag of Reese's miniatures, and you were leaving foil around for a week. You ate a whole bag of Tootsie Roll minis, too. And 4 sticks of butter. Not all at once, of course, but you were impressive nonetheless.
You snuck entire rows of cookies off the table at Christmas time, as my mother was baking them. She wanted to know who had stolen so many cookies so quickly, and of course, it was you, happy they were just the right height, and still warm.
You confused us at more than one Easter Egg hunt, managing to find your own eggs and do away with them completely, before any of us had a chance.
You weren't much for swimming. You were gun-shy; my dad would say the only gun-shy lab we had ever met. But you loved us, and that was the truth, 100%.
You were there for me, through so many ups and downs in my life. And it may seem silly to some, but when I had my heart broken, you were there for me. When I found out I had failed at something, or whenever I was feeling particularly sad, I could go downstairs and lay down and squeeze youâ€”you'd let people do whatever they pleased with you, without so much as a whimper.
You were THE most gentle dog anyone could ever know. When you stepped on a fishing hook in my dad's pickup truck, you licked his face while he extricated it from your paw, because you were in such pain, but didn't want to hurt him.
My dad would only have to say "go get Chris" or "go wake Stevie" and off you'd come trotting, upstairs, to wake us up. It was uncanny.
Hide and seek... oh, I don't know how many people would ever doubt that you used to play hide and seek with me, but you did. I'd lose you around one of the islands or the kitchen, and you'd get confused and try to go around the other side. When I wasn't there, you'd go frantic. Completely frantic. You'd search the kitchen, the living room and the family room (though usually last, so I picked there to hide) and then down the hallway. You went completely nuts, and then I'd reveal myself, or, more often than not, you'd find me. Lying on the living room couch, even though you had checked the room at large before.
And I'd reward you with a treat...
You loved treats, naturally. You'd love to have one balanced on your nose, and you'd wait for me, most times, to say go. You once managed it for 55 seconds. I was amazed. I still have a picture of you doing just that.
As you got older, you stopped grabbing socks. I'm not sure why. You started grabbing pillows. And you'd bring a pillow to whomever was coming over, whomever just arrived. They'd come in through the garage, and you'd be there with a pillow to greet them. What they didn't know was that you wanted to play fetch, by default. That was your default reaction.
You used to go "get the birdies." You'd see them outside and go nuts, so we'd let you out, and you'd careen after them, never to catch one. Or the cats, either.
You loved belly rubs so much, that one time, on my way out of my room, you started to roll over at the top of the stairs, expectingly. I came just a step closer, and you passed the threshold, and tumbling down you went. I was so worried, until you jumped up on the landing and BOLTED down the second flight, in a complete "I meant to do that!" stance.
And so there you were, today. You weren't doing good, but you were still with us. And I knew it was the end, but you had waited for us to get home. And I'm sorry we weren't here the last few days, but Luke said nothing was different.
You were so much joy to all of us. I don't think it's easy to write down what you did for our family. You were the one calming factor, the one comfort we could always rely on.
There are so many other memories of you I have, and stories we'll tell.
And already, it hurts, it feels like someone's stepping on my throat, because I won't be sneaking down the stairs in order not to wake you. Because I won't come out of my room and see you down there, looking up at me, because somehow you heard the floor creek, and you're wagging, and waiting.
The house already feels completely empty, at a loss. It feels like it's missing its favorite piece. No more food on the ground, gone to you. And that's just how it is. But damned if I wouldn't have done whatever I could to have you for a few more years.
You were my best friend. You were unwaivering and you were the very definition of unconditional love. No matter what, no matter what, no matter what, you were there, and you loved us. You *LOVED* us. You couldn't help but show it, and that's the most important fact of all.
I love you, Cisco. And I'll never forget you, because you sold me on dogs. You're the reason I'll come to have another dog. Too bad you set the bar too high for any other dog to reach it.
Bill Waterson drew this when his cat, who had been an inspiration for Hobbes, died. Last night, I dreamt of Cisco; a bundle of yellow energy.
I couldn't say it better:
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