Here, at last, is my letter to Scorpio. I wish it had come sooner, but I haven’t been myself since his death. Suddenly saying goodbye to him and several other things that don’t belong here have kept me from feeling ready to pay the tribute to Scorp I want to pay.
Now that I’m slowly feeling more like myself, and that he has almost been gone for a month. It is time. I’m ready to say what I need to say for me.
I’m once again sitting next to your bed. The last time I sat here, I was sharing my thoughts about your passing. Hundreds of times before that heartbreaking time, I sat here “giving you the touching”. How I would rather be rubbing your smooth side than hoping I can give you the written tribute you deserve. But I don’t have a choice. So, here is what I want you to know, Scorp.
I will never forget the first time we met. Even the morning of your passing, I was able to remember you walking into my kitchen, crapping on my floor, letting me pet you, and leaving. The day you died, that memory only brought a faint smile that was almost forced. Now, I think of it and I can fully smile.
Of all the gifts you gave, the gift of near-constant smiles is how I will most remember you.
How I cherish the memory of sitting in the yard and hearing your collar jingle as you got close to me. As you got closer, we both knew what was going to happen.
As your tongue licked me somewhere on the face, I reached out and touched you on the neck. As I laughed and smiled, I hoped you would lay in front of me so I could easily touch you. But after the first few months, I knew it wasn’t going to happen.
As I smiled and laughed, you would lay on either side of me. Sometimes, you would even go behind me. Wherever you decided to lay, I was supposed to give the touching.
As long as I live, I will remember the times you settled in directly behind me and gently nibbled on the back of my arm. I was to start touching. You didn’t know my arm didn’t bend that way.
As tears start falling and my smile fades, I desperately want to feel that nibble on the back of my arm. I want to once again laugh and turn around because I know you will never move to make the touching easier for me.
Mom still wears one of your collars. Sometimes, it will jingle. For an instant, the sound will trick me into thinking we are going to play our game that will wind up with me adjusting to give you the touching in whatever position you have chosen.
Suddenly, cruelly, the instant vanishes. My heart settles. The settling becomes a brief, painful ache as I once again face the reality that I won’t be giving the touching.
Sometimes, Mom’s phone rings and the familiar Little House on the Prairie song causes me to stop what I’m doing and listen for your singing. As the song goes on without you, I try to focus on what I was previously doing.
When you were here and singing, I would smile and start concentrating again. Now that your off-key song won’t come, I pause and imagine the song in my head. Imagining your song is a treat for which I’m grateful. But I’m not yet able to smile.
I can still feel your blanket under my feet as I walk through the yard to play basketball. Every time I walked over your blanket, I smiled. I knew you had gotten so excited about something, usually Mom coming home, that you just had to grab your blanket and run outside.
A couple of times, I almost picked up your blanket and brought it inside. But something always told me it was part of your relationship with Mom. You got excited to see her and dropped your blanket outside. She needed to bring you your blanket as a show of her love for you.
You have been gone a month, Scorp. It has been a sad, difficult month. In some ways, one of my worst. But that was unavoidable when one of my best, truest friends passed.
I can’t thank you enough for all the smiles, laughs, and wonderful memories.
When Mom was looking to adopt a greyhound, we kept reading about dogs looking for their forever homes. Many times during your life we discussed the fact that you had almost certainly been abused at the race track and that two families returned you. Having those thoughts, we joked about you finally finding your forever home.
Soon, a sign will hang in the yard next to Ufi’s sign. It will tell everyone Scorpio was our forever greyhound. We gave you a forever home. You gave us true love that will live in our hearts forever.
The greyhound people would tell everyone Mom rescued you. We tell everyone you made our lives better, happier, funnier, and filled with more love than they could have ever been without you.
Rest in Peace, Scorpio. You are gone. You will never be forgotten. You are always our forever greyhound.