Those Ashes Aren’t You

Wagging tail, doggy smiles.
From the time you were a puppy,
I couldn’t believe you were mine.

Sharing my good books…
Snarfing up my crumbs…
What a joy it was to watch you shine.

From a tiny little squeak
To a big boy woof –
No one more surprised than you
At the big dog ruff
Behind your song.

A flat out run your only speed
Around and around you’d
Circle the back yard tree,
Following a ball.

Together we danced a goofy shuffle
While I tried to dodge
Your sloppy wet snuffles —
But somehow you always got
In at least one smack on my chin.

Twelve years of running
Twelve years of mooching
Is a very long time for
A Dalmatian with as much exuberance as you.

Though your back hurt so much
You never gave up
Even at the end, when you could barely walk
You still loved me so
And followed me room to room, no matter the cost.

So loyal, so faithful…I miss you, sweet boy.

Today we picked up your ashes
In a tiny little box…
Surely too small to contain
The overjoyed life that
Was you.

But those ashes aren’t YOU.
They can’t give me kisses
Or fetch me the newspaper
Or grumble at me for fussing
When you scavenge paper towels out of the trash.

They can’t chase a ball
Or climb up in my lap
Or slurp up the eggs I drop
On the kitchen floor.

The dog you once were
Is buried deep in my heart
My memories are full –
My tears tear me apart.

Many say there will be
No pets in heaven
But I am certain
You are there.

The God of Creation made you
Just as sure as he made me
And he’s promised many rooms
In his house —

So wait for me there in my room,
Climb up on the foot of the bed.
Snuggle in a blanket and
Listen for my steps.

Play ball. Sleep by the fire.
Eat lots of treats,
And know, my sweet boy —

One day I will once again
Look into your liquid chocolate eyes
Scratch behind your silky spotted ears
And hug your great solid body.

Just as you so loyally watched over the house for us here,
Watch over God’s house for us while
We’re apart!
We’ll be remembering you every day

Waiting eagerly ’till it’s time to once again say —

Where’s your ball?

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