Written a few years ago, the sentiment is always there this time of year. I hope you enjoy.
A Heart Dog Christmas
by Crystal Collins
While writing out my holiday shopping list, I lower my hand to stroke a set of soft, velvety ears. My fingers have memorized the placement of every hair and caressing them seems like an automatic gesture. I love every inch of his beautiful body and gentle soul, but with an involuntary frown I ask myself if I have given him the life he deserves. Am I fulfilling my promise every day to show him unconditional love? Does he feel secure in my dedication to him and know that he will never again have a day where he must go without the things he needs? Am I the right one for him or does he dream of a family he once knew? Does he truly believe he is here to stay? I find myself at a loss for these answers and feeling unsure about his destiny. There were a hundred forks in the road that brought him here and any change in his path would have taken him elsewhere. Trying to imagine my life today without him is painful and difficult.
He turns his head to look at me and in his soft brown eyes I see all the wonderful times we have shared, and a glimpse of future memories we are meant to make together. All my fears of letting him down melt away as he leans into my leg and closes his eyes. I look beyond his swaying tail to the window. Outside the snow is falling and the temperatures are low, but each night he keeps me warm by resting against me with a tender appreciation for my love and presence. Whether we are resting or working or playing together, I feel his companionship as though we are connected from heart to heart.
I bend to kiss the top of his silky head and as his tail wags faster I tell him, “Santa can keep his sack of goodies this year. Every day is Christmas here.” He turns his eyes once more to mine and I can almost hear him say “I was just thinking the same thing.”