My dog died. We had to put him down last night because of cancer. We came home today and I actually expected to see him on my bed in my room, sleeping, and he wasn’t. I’ve never had any dog die before… I feel so sad I literally don’t even know what to do.
I miss him, he was my only dog. I had him since I was three. Can you write some words about him for his funeral? His name was Tornado.
FIFTEEN AND SAD
Nothing I write is going to do Tornado justice. Because you didn’t lose a dog. You lost someone.
Once, I had a someone named Joe. He was a strange pup who slept in the bathtub. I’d hear his claws clink on the porcelain. Eleven years, he slept in that tub.
He was a good boy. He sat beside me when I ate, he sat beside me when I worked, he sat beside the shower when I bathed.
A greater dog I have never had.
His coat was thick. Pure black. Ten inches deep. I groomed him in the summers with a pair of clippers and did a god-awful job. He’d have patches of skin showing, and a skinny tail that belonged on a rat.
“Poor Joe,” people would say when they saw him.
But Joe wasn’t worried about his appearance.
He camped with me. He fished with me. He loved tomatoes, hated corn chips. Chased squirrels; hid from sprinklers.
When I wrote my first novel, he laid on my feet. And when I would play Willie Nelson on the radio, he’d close his eyes and give me an open-mouthed smile.
He escaped from my backyard fence one day.
Someone found him on the side of the road. His legs were crushed. They did surgery. I went to see him. He wagged his tail when he saw me come into the clinic. It hurt him to do it, but old habits die slow deaths. I brought him home. His backside was shaved. Stitches everywhere.
I borrowed a lot of money to pay the doctors.
Four days later, Joe died in my living room. I felt like the sun had been blotted out. My stomach soured. I couldn’t eat for a week. Just telling you about this makes my keyboard wet.
Yeah, I know what you’re probably thinking after reading all this. So what? So this:
The greatest person I’ve ever known,
Is not a statue or legend,
He is a walking stomach, with fur and paws,
Who lives to ten or eleven.
He will die before I,
And on that day I will cry,
But not for long, do I reckon,
Comes the end of my life,
The blessed day when I fly,
When I will rejoin him in heaven.
Tornado, tell Joe I miss him.