A Letter to Passion, Our Everlasting Friend
by Jon Brooks
You came into our life in the most convoluted way possible. Our neighbors, who neglected you woefully and left you chained outside most of late spring, all summer and early fall, and then locked you in the basement for the duration of the year, year after year, only allowed us to get to know you over the fence.
Mom, who couldn't pass up those sad eyes, would feed you and keep you in fresh water and a kind word several times a day when she could. I helped too, though not as much as Mom. You would bark so mournfully when she would leave. You would lie down by the fence and whine.
We implored them for several years to give you to us, that we would give you a good home and love.
Finally on Valentines Day 2011, Mike, the only one who cared for you over there, stopped them hitting you on one of the rare occasions you were let up from the basement, and told them that Jon and Margo would really love to give Passion a home.
Again I say, Thank You Lord, since they relented and Mike brought you over.
Mom and I had to teach you from scratch how to be social with the cats, and that it was okay to push a door open, that you didn't have to flinch and cringe if we moved too fast near you, that you had a name and it wasn't something that was just yelled at you out of meanness.
There were many more new things you learned too, and one of them was that we came to love you even more and that you knew that.
You never kissed us back when we planted a big wet smooch on your head. That always hurt. But I understand that that level of caring for a human never flowered where you were imprisoned and it would take a few more years maybe.
One thing you did repay a thousand fold was Mom's love for you. You were her constant companion. The smile she brought to your face was so precious, as much as the smiles you brought to Mom.
One precious moment, and there were many more, Passion, was when Mom and I taught you how to play. That it was okay to romp and throw the polar bear into the air and bite the bejesus out of it and then let me and Mom chase you with "polar bear" dangling from your mouth, with the biggest grin on your face. Your smile was beautiful, little girl.
Then came that day at the vets. You had collapsed and Mom called me at work and I came home to take you in. You seemed okay by the time I got home and when the vet said he felt something by your ribs and could he do an x-ray... That was the day my world fell apart, and Mom's.
Your liver was the largest he had ever seen in a dog, even with cancer. It had metastasized to both your lungs so that only the upper tips of your lobes were relatively cancer-free. He looked at me and said... "I can't understand why she isn't already dead."
I think I know, Passion. Your love for Mom, and a wee bit for me ('twas good enough) was the only thing that mattered to you.
In your own way, you cared for Mom so much that "nothing" would separate you from her, even if you had to smile through the almost unbearable pain of cancer eating you away, to show it.
Rest in peace now, little girl. The guy upstairs loves you a billion times more than anyone you've ever known. Don't forget about us, okay? Mom and I will see you again.
Mom and Dad