I look at her in her eyes and ask her if she misses Andrew.
She looks back at me emotionless with her brown eyes.
I ask her is she remembers playing with him every single morning.
I ask her if she remembers all the joy that he brought her and that she brought him.
She stares back at me, maybe tilting her head.
I ask her if she cries over Andrew like I do every single day.
I ask her if she is sad at all for not having Andrew around any more.
She stares back at me and wags her tail.
That is all she knows.
Sometimes I am jealous of Daphne in that respect. She feels no sadness, not remorse, no pain. Her memory is but a brief time period. Does she remember the times she ran and played with Andrew out in the snow? Does she remember swimming with him in the lake, or pulling the paddle boat while we all laughed and cheered her on?
Does she remember how much he loved her and Daisy. That he cried all night when Daisy passed, just a few brief weeks before Andrew passed. We were all so devastated. Whenever Andrew called home, he always asked how the dogs were – then he would ask us everything else. The first thing he did when he got home was to sit and play with them for such a long time – then out with his friends, and they would wait for him by the window at night. They would often sleep with him that first night, even on the floor, they were so happy their friend had come home. They sat outside his door and waited for his leftovers when he ate dinner at two in the morning. We would often find plates in the hallway – perfectly clean.
When we traveled, Andrew and Nicole always brought them food from breakfast – way too much, but they loved it and ate every morsel. From french toast to eggs to crumb cake to donuts – nothing was off limits for their special travel breakfasts. We never had to ask twice for someone to take them out, both kids where eager to walk them and run with them. Andrew had pictures of them on his desk, and on his phone and on his computer background. They were such a part of his life. I have so many pictures of Andrew and Nicole with the dogs and cats, we can never forget them. Daisy was also my best friend and companion.
When we did our last family holiday card, the last one when we were a full family, Daisy and Daphne got included, instead of mom and dad, but we were happy – everyone in the picture was so happy. You can see the love in all of their eyes.
We don’t have Daisy anymore. As some of you know, she is with Andrew now, buried in his arms, next to his heart. I am sure they are playing and running and sleeping together where ever they are. Maybe waiting for Daphne to join them again some day.
But does she know? I don’t think so. She is blessed with a short memory, she does not cry over him, she does not miss him. Sometimes she goes into his room and sniffs around, jumps on his bed, smells his clothes, but then wags her tail and carries on. Life is so simple and happy for her. Feed her, walk her, play with her, love her – that is all she needs – and that is what the kids gave her – unconditional love.
Sometimes I am jealous of Daphne, she has no sorrow, she has no pain.
But I also feel sorry for her, I sometimes pity her. She does not remember the love and the compassion and the friendship that Andrew gave her and that she gave him. She does not have those amazing memories of them playing in the snow or in the lake. She does not remember my son. I don’t think I would be able to go on if I did not have so many memories that keep my son alive.
I sit here and cry and look at her – and she just wags her tail and tells me she loves me.