I remember the day we brought you home, you were in our backseat eating up french fries. I remember being on the phone with my brother while I told him how awesome you were, and saw you running laps around the house even as I told him how fast you were. I remember all the times you saved me from falling over, the way you'd pull in just the right direction on the leash and correct my balance as we slid down a steep hill at a creek.
I remember all the nicknames I had for you, my Hesibu, my Moon Spirit and my Wolf Child. I remember the story my brother, Adam, told about how you were chased by and then chased in return the coyotes when he was out fishing. I remember how you hunted like crazy and brought home the neighbors chickens and wild bunnies and raccoons and possums and moles and mice and rats. I remember how you tried to take down that deer that one time.
I remember all the times I took you swimming, how you hated baths and the pond but loved the creek. I remember how kind you were, never bit a person on purpose, even if you were a skilled hunter. We'd rough house and you'd get your jaws on my arm, stop, pull your head carefully back and close your mouth when you knew my arm wasn't there anymore. I remember how Dad always wanted to get a German Shepard to name Beast, so we would have Beauty and the Beast.
I remember when you started going deaf, when you started limping, when your shoulder puffed up and when the vet said you had cancer in the bone. I remember seeing the xrays and knowing it wouldn't be long. It's been about two months since then.
This has been one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make, Beauty. You're still up and walking and eating and living but I can see it in your eyes how much pain you are in, and your bone mass in that leg is such that stumbling the wrong way could break it clean in half. I can't stand to see you suffer and know you'll only get worse and that there is nothing left for me to do. Nothing left but this one last trip, this mercy killing.
I love you, Beauty.
I remember you. I will not forget. You took up so much of my childhood. You were the one I ran to (before Siaga became my crying shoulder) when bad things happened and I needed comfort. The one I cried my tears into, the one I giggled to and told secrets to when no one else would listen.
No, I will not forget.