I write this several hours after your death. I’m sitting on the couch thinking I can still hear you snoozing away in your favorite chair, more of a throne, really. Rain is ripping through the neighborhood. Crows on the lawn are eating the last of your kibble.
We managed a final visit to the ocean before going to the veterinarian. It didn’t last long but there was beauty in that evanescence. The waves were breaking a crisp white over a blue and green sea. A few gulls flew overhead. We were the only ones around, something I have always relished. Just you, me and the ocean. I’ve written a million words in my head that way.
Almost 17 years together. What a team we were. We set unbreakable beachcombing records — over 10,000 rambles down Oregon’s publicly-owned beaches. We built a rich history of mystery, hi jinks and revelation. One of my favorite accomplishments is making you a famous dog on the Oregon Coast. Everywhere I went, people wanted to meet you and I’ll never forget the waitress at a Lincoln City restaurant who gave me free bacon for you or the garbage man in Gleneden Beach who got out of his truck to meet you.
In the final moment, I thanked you for the wonderful companionship. I said I loved you and then I felt the life leave your body. It was time to go. I walked into the rain and wondered what course my new life would take without you.
A few hours from now, I will don the pea coat covered in your fur and visit the beach by myself — a strange undefined territory. I’ll walk and keep walking in rain and let it wash over me. Goodbye dear friend. I know one day soon you will return to me as rain. You can rest assured that I will recognize when that happens.
And I will never take the pea coat to the dry cleaners.
Matt Love is the author/editor of 14 books, including two where Sonny is a featured character, “Of Walking in Rain” and “The Great Birthright.” His books are available at coastal bookstores or his web site, nestuccaspitpress.com