Goodnight ol’ Friend

He’s laying in bed beside me, cuddled up real close. He likes knowing he can reach out and touch me to reassure himself in his sleep that I’m still there. As he sleeps, his snore resonates throughout the room, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sometimes he wants to sleep on my pillow because he likes that it smells like me. He often takes all the covers, leaving me to freeze and I have to steal them back. When we wake up, he gets up, stretches, demanding breakfast. I whip up my own breakfast and feed us both. We get the kids up and off to school in time to catch the bus, then set about the busy day of cooking, cleaning, computer work and playing with the baby. All too soon, the bus is dropping the older children off at the bus stop and they race home with back packs filled with homework that needs to be done, books that need to be read, and old papers that need to be displayed on the refrigerator, boasting multi-colored hand prints, and perfect test scores. Homework gets done, dinner eaten, baths taken and bedtime prayers said, and finally, the house is quiet once more. Tomorrow, my partner and I will start again, like we have every morning for the last several years. Kids. Work. School. Life. It’s all the same, yet so different with each passing day. As we climb up the stairs, I realize my partner’s steps have slowed some, gotten a little less sure, and had a little less spunk. He is getting more grey with each day that passes and it saddens me to know that we don’t get to live forever. The thought of being without my best friend makes me want to weep for the years he won’t have. It is times like these that I wrap my arms around him as he lays his head upon my shoulder as if to comfort me, as if to say, ‘No matter what happens, or how long I live, I will always be by your side’ without saying a word at all. I pull the covers up and snuggle down into the bed as he makes himself comfortable for the night. I lean over and kiss him goodnight and give him a gentle hug. I whisper softly into his ear,
“Goodnight ol’ friend. You’re the best dog ever!”

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