By Matt Harrison

My family recently had a visitor; a stout, old dog with a golden coat. Her name was Abby and she spent the week with us while her family watched the sunrise in Mexico.

January 3rd

A nervous old gal

Wanders after a green ball

Her tail gently wags

I watched her walk around the house, acquainting herself with the place and the people in it. I decided I would spend the week writing about her.

The morning after her first night with us, too early for the sun to have rizen, I heard Abby barking at the front door.

Brought myself downstairs

Soon enough she fell asleep

As the sun came up

She was only a bit lonesome. A little company was all it took for her to be right as rain. The next few days went lazily and happily by.

January 4th

Quiet afternoon

Doing yoga with Abby

Sit in the sunshine

January 5th

Stay up with Abby

The sun set too soon tonight

We will watch it rise

Soft, gentle breathing

Wandering through a dreamscape

Chasing the sunrise

January 6th

From your sweet, brown eyes

Two quiet blinks come my way

Before you drift off

It was my dad who first noticed her behaviour was different than normal. We made a group visit to the vet before dinner. Four of us waited together to hear what the results of her ultrasound were. 

The vet suspected she had cancer and that it was rapidly progressing. We told him the owners would be home in four days. 

“Four days is an awfully long time” was all he said.

As darkness descends

This house grows quiet and still

Oh, these long, cold nights

Sleep tonight

Spend your last days well

You are loved

Waiting together

For this endless night to pass

Sleep, my tired friend

January 7th

It was 2:00PM when she let her last breath go. After she passed, I held her paw and cried with the crown of my head pressed to the floor. 

Her head felt heavy

“Rest easy, little sister”

Your pain has ended

I came home that night to a quiet and empty home. Without her bed, the living room felt too big.

This room feels empty

There is no one keeping guard

Ever since you left

Gone too soon

Thy name has been called

Taken home

I stood on the patio that night, looking off into the darkness. I held an ear to the wind hoping to hear something to take my mind off everything. All I heard was a chilled breeze drifting by and the silent ache of loneliness.

Only cold silence

I wished to hear coyotes

In the dark distance

Life is beautiful but it is also finite and unpredictable. I won’t soon forget my time spent with Abby. From her I learned how precious life is and how love is the greatest thing in this world.

I wish you were here

Does a great beyond exist?

Come tell me sometime

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