Making a List…

I finally took Bess’s picture and short bio off the “About Us” page on my Leash & Hand website. It was harder to do than I thought. Originally, I’d planned to replace it with an “in memoriam” paragraph where I’d add that the Secretary position would remain unfilled, but it seemed too maudlin. Bess would hate maudlin! She was a poster child for joy and laughter and love. I deleted the bio while whispering her name. I’ve managed to turn the page; I’ve started a new chapter.

my dog Bess

Bess will forever remain in my heart. Patricia McConnell, on her blog, ‘The Other End of the Leash’ has a lovely post called Six Words. It’s how she honors her dogs who have passed on; it’s truly inspirational… perhaps I’ll attempt it someday. But typically, I’m a list maker. It’s what I do.

The Top Ten Things I Loved About Bess:

  • Number 10: How she always managed to circumvent the fence and get into the veggie garden… where she would stroll between the raised beds and sample the blueberries. (Yes, the girl strolled, and yes, she picked blueberries… delicately, with her teeth.)
  • Number 9: The way she often carried herself while out and about: on a mission, purposeful, no nonsense, determined.
  • Number 8: The way she sat, leaning against me, one leg crooked and off to the side. If it was cold out, she’d lean against my leg and sit splayed like that on my boot–not the hard, cold ground.
  • Number 7: The way she snored, loud and lusty, mingled with an occasional grunt, and snorkeling sounds as well. This never failed to make me grin.
  • Number 6: The way she ran to the bottom drawer, hopping with excitement when I would tell her, “It’s spa day! We’re doing your nails.” (It was truly all about the cheese, but still… the hopping, the bounce!)
  • Number 5: The way she worked the crowd at Barn Hunts. Even though she loved searching, when released to hunt, Bess would first run the perimeter, grinning and wagging–thanking everyone for coming out. It was hilarious to watch, so ribbons or no ribbons, Q or no Q, we always had a blast and met the nicest people.
  • Number 4: The way she’d back up a couple of steps… and, 3, 2, 1 launch! onto the couch and into my lap for evening snuggles.
  • Number 3: The eagerness with which she participated in learning new things. She adored clicker training. Shaping games with her were often the highlight my day.
  • Number 2: The way she’d clatter up the stairs at bedtime and fling herself onto either her bed or catapult herself onto our bed in anticipation of her ‘night-night cookie’.
  • And the Number 1 thing I loved about Bess? The way she celebrated her meal prep with an over-the-top, joy-filled, non-stop dance party. Every single time I prepared her breakfast or dinner… didn’t matter. She was delighted and let it show. 

What are some of the things you love about your treasured companion? Would you be a ‘six word’ person like Tricia, or are you a list maker like me? Whichever you are, please share the joys your dog brings to your life.