It’s been ten years. Through which my Love has always been by my side. She accidentally grazed the side of my dad’s hand when she was a puppy, and accidentally bit my brother’s ear when she was a few weeks older. My mother’s always been too scared of her excitement to let her teeth get near her, really. But, her and I, well, I taught her how to fight, and hunt. And I guess I was too fast for her. Or, more likely, she was always just too careful.
Spark’s and I go back twenty years. From the day I first asked for a puppy. I didn’t know it back then, but I wasn’t asking for any dog. I didn’t want any dog. I wanted Sparky. I wanted her black ear, and her fear of thunderstorms and her hatred of Diwali. Her love for cheese and carrots and, like an addict that knows no better, chocolate. Her kind suspicion when it came to smaller animals, who she would never hurt. Flies, mosquitoes and lizards notwithstanding, of course. And she never ate lizards. Just tried to play with them and then got all confused when they would stop moving. Or when they’d shed their tails and run. Sparky always was a hunter.
The doctors are now saying there’s nothing they can do for her. Today’s her tenth b’day, just so you all know. I was there the day she was born. With her one black ear amongst her snowy white siblings, she was already special. The craziest, most adventurous pup of the litter, I instantly knew that she was all I had ever wanted. All dogs love my dad, and vice versa, so convincing him was not a problem. And, my brother, K, he was pretty onboard with the idea too. Even though he originally insisted we take her mirror sibling, but I think that was just to be different from me. You know? Brothers do that. Because from the day she entered our house, my brother and Sparky have their own bond. After all, he did mend her dislocated jaw all by himself. So, of course she forgave him for feeding her the core of an apple once in a while coz he was too lazy to get off the couch. Crazy Sparky likes fruits anyhow. When you give her pomegranate, she chews on the little pieces with the front of her teeth, so that the juice flows out.. I keep telling her that she’s too smart to be a Dog, but she just looks at me with a carefully crafted blank expression. As if she can’t understand what I’m saying. Tch.
Anyhow, so it was my mum that needed convincing. And, what to say? Now it’s her that Sparky follows dutifully around the house. After all, the rest of us leave. Though Sparky has her own relationship with everyone else in the family. Like, she waits for no one to get home the way she waits for my dad. They have this whole walking thing going on, which is pretty incomprehensible to the rest of us.
I left for college. When Sparky was 4 years old. But she never forgot me. And, I had her picture stuck on the door of my cupboard all through my time at college. It’s still stuck on my cupboard at home. Though, nothing beats the real deal, of course.
Which brings us to why I’m writing this post today. Because the doctors tell us that her time has run out. She’s outlived all her beautiful relatives, because she was always the strongest and sparkiest of the lot, so that’s not surprising. And she is rather old. Dalmatians apparently live to be just this old. So, that’s not surprising either. But, she’s the love of my life. She changed my World. Made everything worthwhile. And to think that I would never have her greet me at the door, wagging her tail and rubbing her furry head against my black clothes, the thought absolutely breaks my heart.
I’ve not had the best of years. These past two years. In fact, it’s all been pretty messed up. But, I graduated, and I got myself a job, despite everyone’s lack of expectations. And I can’t help but think that Spark’s was just waiting to see us all settled in to our new lives, God Bless her. You might think this is just romanticism, but I tell you, that dog is smart.
I’m not going to edit what I write here. I just love her so much, I wanted to write about her, and I don’t know if I’ll be capable of doing that once she’s gone. She changed my life just by entering it, it’s impossible to assume that she’s going to leave it unchanged. I hope she’s always happy. And if I could trade places with her, I’d do it in a heartbeat. She made my life worth living. And, with her lawyer coat, I’m sure she subtly edged me towards law school too.
I hope that wherever she goes, there’s always plenty of pigeons to scare and crows to chase. I’m sorry I never got her the chance to run after a bunny, because according to the Famous Five books I read, dogs love to do that. But she’s seen her share of cats. And she’s run around in beautiful golf courses in both the setting and rising sun. It’s been a delightful life. With a new stuffed toy every time she tore her last one to shreds, starting from and not limited to all the ones my brother and I owned as kids. Except the puppy and the rabbit. But she can have them, if she’ll take them. She can have them all.
You’ll always be the one I love the most, Sparky.
May you dance with the wind, and chase the clouds and finally understand that thunder is nothing to be scared of. I’m sure there are no firecrackers in heaven, and may there be nothing else to scare you ever either. I’m sorry I can’t come with you. But Lyka and Spooky and the rest of your family is waiting for you. And I’m sure they’ll take good care of you. And, you, of them.
And when I finally do die, I know you’ll be waiting for me, tail wagging and head all ready to rub on my black clothes. I’ll come see you even if it is hell I’m going to. Though I suspect you’ll get me to make it to heaven, you smart manipulative Scorpio doggie.
So much love, and much more than that,
your sister and hunting buddy,