by Sue Springer,
Ruby's Other Mother
I brought you home in a cardboard box that very first day, chubby, darling,
teensy dog of my dreams.
We did not know each other yet but you were my childhood dream come true
at last. You were the "wish upon a star."
Later, that first night, I rocked you in my arms. I couldn't stand to
hear you cry for your "other" mother. You fell asleep in my arms.
Ten thousand kisses later, as the years flew by, we learned a type of
silent language. You were a smart one. Many times I thought that you had
trained me well, instead of the other way around.
I remember your little face, the nose nudging to let you outside, the
way you leaned against my leg when you did not feel well, and the great
job you did as our watchdog and sentry to all who dared pass by the window.
You comforted me in loved one's absences, through deaths, moves across
the country, and when others betrayed my trust. You were a beloved companion
more valuable to me than gold or any possession I could own.
Then you started losing weight, your fur thinned, you itched. We tried
to get you well, but diabetes and disease claimed you. I stood over you
at the vet's, you didn't seem to hear me calling you, but you rallied at
my touch. The vet advised us that you were dying and I held you in my arms
and rocked you, my little baby to sleep, and brought your body home in a