A Letter from Gus – Words of Comfort from a Beloved Pet
I see you. I can always see you. And I see your tears, and I know how sad you are. But I want you to know I’m happy. It’s nice here.
I miss you, too. Daddy, I miss snuggling in your lap while you scratched me behind my ears, and I miss your belly rubs, and I miss just looking at you while you read a book, or while you sleep. I would watch you and, Daddy, you brought me such comfort and joy. When I worried about stuff, all I had to do was see you, and I would stop worrying and feel good again. Because you were there.
Oh Daddy, don’t cry! If I could, I would go back to your house and lick the tears on your face. Daddy don’t cry. Please don’t cry. It’s all right. You did what you did because you loved me and you wanted to help me, and you did, Daddy, you did. I never complained. I never wanted to let you know, but, Daddy, the last few days were no fun. And I knew, that last morning, when that man came with the box. Oh, Daddy, I knew. But you know what? I wasn’t scared. Because you were there, Daddy. And I knew that whenever you were there, everything was okay. When you picked me up, and that man put the needle behind my neck, it didn’t hurt, Daddy. No, it didn’t. I didn’t even feel it. All I felt were your kisses on my head, and all I heard were the words you whispered in my ear. You told me not to worry, and I didn’t, Daddy, I didn’t. Because you told me not to.
I don’t remember much after that. In fact, I don’t remember anything after that, except when I woke up, I was here. And Daddy, it’s nice. Daddy, I’ll come and visit you when I can. I don’t know when that will be. I’m still learning my way around here. But I’ll come again. I’ll never leave you, just as you never left me. I’ll show up. You’ll know. And Daddy, I know this: anytime you think of me, I’ll be there in your soul. That’s all you have to do. And then, your heart will swell, and your eyes will grow moist, and a sweet, sad feeling will wash over you, and you’ll see me. You’ll see my little face looking at you, and my ears, and my big fat nose you used to make fun of. And I’ll see you.
Oh Daddy, I don’t understand. I don’t understand how we came into each other’s lives, or why we had to part. But I’m so happy we did. It was good, Daddy, wasn’t it? It was really, really good. Daddy. You’ll be okay, Daddy.
Your loving dog, Gus
Steven Heimoff is former Director of Wine Communications and Education at Jackson Family Wines in California and former editor, Wine Enthusiast Magazine.