As I write this, it has been one year and one hour since our favorite dog of all time breathed his last breath in the back of my van. It hasn’t been an easy year, and the transition to a five-heartbeat household has been most unwelcome, but we are at peace. The gentleness of that spirit who was part dog/part angel stays with us. We have a family mantra that reminds us to be like Mason, to enjoy life and to love without limits, to be happy in all things.

As with so many pivotal moments in our lives, we divide our happenings into two categories: before we said goodbye to Mason, and after. We prefer the Before, thankyouverymuch. But, as an update on the positive side of After, Mabel is entirely different now. She loves affection. Where she couldn’t have cared less before, she now waits patiently for our arrival after work. She snuggles more now, choosing to sleep curled up beside my legs. She demands attention when she feels she has not received enough. And, a change that I know Mason nudged her toward, she finally found joy in dancing with me in the kitchen, just like he used to.

And so we acknowledge the significance of today, of who we are and of where we’ve been, grateful for the companion that shared so many of our days with us.

We love you, Monk. We miss you still.

Mason and Vic, 2011

Mason and Vic, 2011