by guest blogger Jay Erb*
Dear Miss Tia,
You were such a pitiful sight when we met. At 26 pounds, your spine and ribs were showing, ear mites kept you scratching and shaking your head, fleas caused patches of missing fur, and you had an umbilical hernia, but you were still a really cute little dog. Your personality was interesting—so friendly yet so scared that you shook. It didn’t take long before I knew I wanted to adopt you. I bet you really felt better once Dr. G took care of your medical issues, and soon you doubled your weight to get to your healthy 50 – 55 pound range. Every year when you went in for your annual checkup, Dr. G and her staff would comment on what a pretty girl you were and how sad you looked when they first met you.
I really miss our daily walks, and not taking walks with you every day has also really hurt my fitness level. For a while, walking at Coventry Woods wasn’t an option for me, as it felt so empty walking the trails without you. You were such a big part of helping to design and build that trail system. Now other dogs can bring their humans for a hike because of the work you helped to do. I am beginning to enjoy those trails again, because I remember the times we worked on and walked those trails together. Then there were the mental health benefits of our walks. Especially when your Grandmom and Granddad got sick and passed on, those walks in the woods with you really helped me. So many people knew you as my walking partner. Our bicycle rides on the Schuylkill River Trail were a lot of fun too.
The house still seems really empty without you, especially when I get home and you don’t greet me at the door. Going to bed isn’t the same; I miss your little, contented sigh every night when you’d curl up at the foot of the bed and I’d cover you with your blanket. Meals aren’t the same either, without you lying next to my chair in the kitchen. I continue to see hiding places in each room for your treats when we played your favorite “Find It” game. I know your Mommy really misses you too.
Thank you for enriching my life, and for being Daddy’s little girl.
*Jay Erb is Chair of the North Coventry Parks & Recreation Commission.