I’d come home from work to be greeted by most beautiful smile common to the breed. Her golden eyes, white eye lashes, and wonderful white coat melted my heart every time I walked in. She was my dog, my Samoyed, my Georgia.
She’d howl and sing her greeting, then bring me a toy to toss so we could play fetch, knowing all along she would not return it; she never did. She was a tease.
Georgia charged up the stairs as I went up to change from my work clothes, pushing past me and almost knocking me down, jumping on the bed and barking loudly. She demanded I join her in a wrestling match. She thought she was the boss of me. She was; she knew it, and I knew it too.
We’d wrestle, play, and roll around, as she barked and bit at the bedding and licked my face with a pink tongue. Then, as if to say she’d had enough, she’d roll over onto her back, all four legs spread eagle, and pant out of breath as her tongue hung from perfect teeth and a generous smile, watching patiently as I changed into my sweats.
I’d tell her all about my day, the good, bad, and ugly, and she’d listen intently, her ears perked up at the words she recognized and she’d howl in agreement. I told her that she was a good girl and how beautiful she was. And she’d agree with that, too.
We lived on a hill, and late in the evenings, she would sit on the edge of the back lawn overlooking her domain, Concord lay below her. The “Queen of the World” watched the movement of life. Every so often, she’d come in to check and see if I was still around and doing OK, then she would return back to the edge of the lawn, her throne. Finally she’d come in sit at the bottom of the stairs, look back at me, and give one sharp yelp, and I knew she was done for the day.
She was my best friend, my pal, my confidant, my companion. I told her everything and she listened with loving ears, eyes, and heart. Georgia understood my pain, my sadness, my dreams, and desires. And I wished I were as good as she thought I was. I am not.
Coming home from work will never been the same. Neither will returning from the store with a present or cookie for her, or walking Asilomar beach in Pacific Grove or going to bed each night. Nothing will ever be the same; everything has lost its specialness.
Georgia died in my arms, taken from me by same cancer that took my mom less than a year earlier. Georgia, licking the tears pouring from my eyes, as hers closed for the last time, comforting me to the very end.
Mona Dawson lives in Northern California and is a member of the Tri-Valley Writers group, which she joined in 2012. She loves writing, photography, wine, and not in that order. She has been published in Not Your Mother’s Book on Family, Not Your Mother’s Book on Working for a Living, and Voices of the Valley: Word for Word. Find more on her blog, which is ClosedMouth0.wordpress.com.
Main article photo by: Courtesy Mona Dawson