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The lasts

You don’t get to know about the lasts. Because they can’t tell you. They just happen. Near the end, the space between them becomes strangely physical. More than time, they mark and define a life lived. A life shared completely and with no reserve. Once gone, the space gets quiet, and bigger. Empty, it fills with the lasts.

Helping me get dressed for our walks and standing on my feet as I tie my shoes. "Hurry up!" The unrestrained squeaks and yips pulling me up the street to where the lizards live. The last walk to Starbucks and back. How many “beautifuls” will we score today? The 4-mile morning walk. Then 2 miles. Then whatever she could. Anticipated sightings on the approach to Bunny Boulevard. The “good morning” pat from her old friend George. The “hurry up” barks for breakfast in her bowl. Circling to find just the right position in her bed by my desk, another day in the office. The full-speed dive into the pool and “I got this” swim back. The clompety-clomp of her boots running around the pool tracking her ball. Playing catch from the edge. The cock of her head, “Do you wanna?” The romp on the beach, anticipating the waves and timing her ball. Laying at my feet while I made her homemade meatloaf, the last dishwasher assist. Stolen licks of the cat food dishes. Sweet dreams on the couch, so peaceful. Watching the world go past from her fire pit platform, ears blowing in the wind. Leaping from the back seat over me and out the driver’s door. Forlorn looks from behind the pillows on the bed, my open suitcase signaling a trip. A full-body tail wag greeting at the door when I arrive home. BBQ salmon on the deck, watching the sun go down for the last time. That peaceful all-is-right-in-my-world sigh as the light goes out. Scratching her neck, smelling her smell and petting her coat. The last “I love you Tai Tai,” planting kisses on her soft nose. The last intelligent, funny, kind, sweet light of a Myjoy poodle’s eyes—like Olivia, Isabelle,

Lucas, and many before her.

These lasts of her Tailor-made life are my forever lessons. A kind heart puts others first. Wait patiently and trust good will come. Care selflessly for those in need. Lead with a sense of humor and keep a humble soul. Let your smiling eyes reveal what’s deep in your big, open heart. Live carefree, happy, and at peace, just being you.

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