No story tonight. No cute antidote of the girls. No humorous tale of Dolce sitting on my lap or Amore stealing the kong. No recipe at the end of my ramblings relating to the storyline. No deep meaning words of wisdom, quip, or quote.
Tonight, it’s just about memories of our Tiamo. Remembering the softness in her eyes, her tender nudge with her muzzle to get our attention, her gentleness when she would tend to her litter. Tonight it’s about reminiscing how she would con me into giving her nightly belly rubs, every night, for 6 years straight. It’s about her joy to be with us on road trips and trips to the grocery store. It’s about her companionship to Malcolm and myself and her unconditional love for her “pack”. It’s about her protectiveness with Thugs, our cat at the time, following her at a close distance to keep her safe when outside. It’s about how she would flirt with the big male Berners, and show disdain to the little lap dogs, though she was a lap lover herself.
Malcolm and I often play the “remember when” game. Remember when Tiamo would counter-surf and steal the cookies. I would blame Malcolm for sneaking a cookie off the cooling rack, when all the time it was Tiamo. Remember when Tiamo would start barking at 5:10 p.m. on the dot, wanting out the front door to wait for me to drive in from work. She knew I was due home soon and wanted to wait for me in the front portal, running immediately to the car door as soon as I turned the engine off. Remember when Tiamo would bust out of the dog pen and run around to the back porch, pawing at the door to get back inside – how she hated being separated from us. We abandoned that pen for two years until the puppies were born.
Other times we play the “remember how” game. Remember how Tiamo would lay her head on my lap, her paw on my leg when she was tired, and other times she would lean so close to us, we were supporting her full weight. Remember how Tiamo would give us big bear hugs, her huge paws wrapping around our waist, squeezing us hard. We knew better than to have her jump on us, and yet, we still let her, even encouraging her. We just loved her hugs! Remember how we swore we would never, ever let her on our bed. And, for two years we didn’t, until I broke down and literally picked her up, placed her on my side of the mattress and cuddled with her. From then on, Tiamo slept with us.
Our “remember whens” and our “remember hows” usually ends with a saddened, “oh, how I miss her”. Malcolm and I will share a tender smile full of Tiamo memories. Once in a while, a tear drop will slip past my armor, Malcolm nodding in understanding, silently acknowledging our bitter-sweet memories. I miss her hugs. Our cuddles, Our belly rubs.
Oh, how I miss her.