My beloved Teddy died recently, and at the suggestion of a friend, I wrote him a “thank you” letter.  Teddy was the first dog I have had since childhood;  I am in my forties.  Teddy was a member of my family for eight months, or so, dying suddenly at two years old.  Dogs at my childhood home were kept out of the house, in a kennel.  Any dog, lucky enough to find me, belongs with their person.  Or, I think, we will not be able to understand what they are teaching us.

Oh my dear, dear Teddy,

Thank you for being here with me.  I felt so safe with you, sitting beside me, sleeping with me, walking down the trails or down the street.  Thank you for growling at my mother when she was in the house in the middle of the night, visiting from California.  It was great.  I also loved it that you would never let C. J. walk you – I don’t like her that much either.  It was such a joy watching you greet Omid, when he came to walk you, sometimes!  You really loved him.

Thank you for always wanting to be with me and never leaving my side.  Coming in the car even for just a ride there and back.  I was never alone when you were there.

I was amazed at your devotion and vigilance.  As you would notice sounds or sudden movements, especially at night, at times, you would let out your funny deep growl.  Joy reminded me that you were being protective of me, even growling at the strange sounds of something different in the house, like my mother.  I have never had any living thing be protective of me before.  I know you were letting me know how special I am and that I deserve to be cared for like that with that kind of love and devotion.  I will remember to care for myself the way you would care for me.

I loved your eyes.  How you looked at me.  I loved your soft fur.  I loved your warm body next to me on the sofa or in bed.  I could feel your shape next to me and I was safe.  I loved hugging your barrel shape.  I still smile seeing the smile on your face as you run through the water on the ditch, coming right to me.

Thank you for loving Bea, our cat, and I loved how Bea would join us on walks.

I will never replace you.  I will love you always and look forward to seeing you again, on the other side.


Maggie Grace