Dear Tilly

Dear Tilly,

Hi. I know you can’t read (because you’re only one, after all), but maybe The Boy Child will read this to you … If you’re lucky, maybe he can read it to you using funny voices.

First off, can we talk about your tail? I’ve spent more time than is reasonable thinking about it. Wagging = joyful. Floppy = deflated. Standing at attention = do not mess with me right now. So direct, yet poetic.

Thank you, Tilly, for showing me how exciting the world is. That spider walking across the floor, upon closer inspection, actually is quite fascinating (nah, it’s really not). And the wind, that frustrating invisible nuisance. Where does it come from? Why can’t we make it stop? Don’t even get me started on the ball. HOW DOES IT ROLL? MAKE IT HAPPEN AGAIN. The world is full of witchcraft.

Thank you for reacting to my arrival like it is Christmas all the time. Even when I’ve only been gone from your sight for less than five minutes. Even when I’ve just been in the other room. No one has ever been this excited to see me. Your boundless enthusiasm is just one of the reasons I love you.

We may not speak the same language, but who needs words when you can see the real me? It is said that the mark of a good relationship is when you can just be together, enjoying each other’s company without feeling the need to fill the silence. So, it stands to reason that our relationship is kind of the best.

Many are the times with people — at a party or an event or whenever there’s an awkward conversational pause — when I think, “Why can’t you be more like my dog?” Or even, “Why can’t you be my dog?” Then I return home and you don’t expect anything from me and the world is okay again.

My heart swells and breaks every time you look at me with your eyes that resemble the oversized buttons on a vintage cardigan. Sometimes, I am certain you’ve unlocked the mysteries of the universe. Then you’ll eat some dirt from a potted plant and I have to rethink everything. Are you just trying to confuse me? Are you just doing that to appear humble? I really wonder.

You are the only part of movies that consistently makes me cry. They can kill off the villain, or even most of the human characters, but they better not dare touch the dog.

There are fewer smells more comforting than when you are near — warm and pleasant, like gently used straw. There is no sound more melodic than claws-on-floor, especially when they are headed in from another room. There is no feeling better than the way you crash into my side, then slide down and curl up like a seashell, to get an aggressively close cuddle. As Charlie Brown said, “Happiness is a warm puppy.”

On weeks like this one (and many others before it), you are both a port and an escape. Thank you for pulling me out of myself. For inspiring me to talk in silly voices. For reminding me to be tender.

It’s been said that God only got one thing wrong — dogs should’ve been able to talk. I think about this often, because I agree with this assessment. But that’s second on my list, after wishing you could live forever.

In the meantime, though, I will treasure every moment we have together. You may never know how much I love you. But I hope you do. How I hope you do.

8 thoughts on “Dear Tilly

  1. Oh this makes me feel quite emotional! So true. I swear I talk to Coco more than I talk to Paul! The best thing is, I can make sure her reply is what I want to hear 😉 They are so expressive aren’t they? You can tell so much from the tilt of their head, the alertness of their ears and the angle of their tail. In fact I only said to Paul yesterday that I didn’t think Coco was feeling 100% as her ears were back and although her tail was up, it wasn’t swishing.
    Happiness really is a warm puppy, they listen to all our hopes and anxieties without judgement and a look from them is enough to make you feel that everything will be alright after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderfully expressed feelings about your fur child. I haven’t had a dog since I was a kid, but I know all those feelings first hand. For me I could write the exact same thing except change dog to cat. My fur girls make my heart so happy, actually I could change dog to horse also. Animals are a gift from God to us & why they continue to want to be with us is a mystery.

    Liked by 1 person

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