The security, safety and lack of loneliness I felt was intensely comforting. I know he was 'just a dog' and most likely would scoff myself if reading this elsewhere....But he was my buddy. We had been through all the most important things in my life together and we trusted each other.
When Eli and I found each other, I was ending a long and abusive relationship. Eli had been surrendered to a woman I knew who worked with the homeless. He had been abused too. He was head shy and jumpy, but SO wanted to please.
He stuck to me like glue and was more devoted to me than I knew a dog could be. He never strayed. He never wandered....unless it was to follow me covertly into the grocery store without me knowing a few paces back.
He was OBSESSED with the ball...or a bottle cap or a rock or log. Anything he could pick up became fodder for play. He'd drop it in my lap while I was deep in conversation and stare expectantly at me. Often, it was annoying that I could take him to the beach and play for two hours after our almost daily 5 km walk and he would STILL want to play. As he got older and we both grew less active, he still found huge joy in fetching anything he could get his jaws on.
I knew everyone of his sighs, grunts and barks. He knew by my body language if it was time to snuggle or time to make himself scarce. I knew he hated it when people wore sombreros. He knew I hated it when he chewed cedar chunks into smithereens (doesn't mean he'd stop, however).
He was aloof with those he didn't know and I loved that he couldn't care less about the existence of other dogs....as long as they didn't try to snake his ball.
I miss him. I long to have his rough coat to pet absent mindedly as I watch tv. I yearn for the comfort of knowing that he would warn me of anything out of the ordinary or hearing the rhythm of his breathing in the dark.
Admintedly, I have been browsing ads for dogs needing homes. I realize that I can't financially afford another addition to our household and that I have
chicken, door knob and garbage eating, overly enthusiastic, fur machine another dog But I stare longingly at these furry creatures and wonder what a life containing them would be like. I know that I am maybe searching for Eli and I won't ever find him, but I also feel that I am looking to repay my sweet boy's years of love and devotion by offering a warm, safe and loving home to another big furry heart in need.
I miss you, Snoopy Headed Dude. You were the best dog anyone could ever dream of and I'm glad that you are there in my nightmares to comfort me. I love you, my boy.