Remember that day you first looked at me? I wagged my tail so fast just for you. You looked like such a nice person. And then you got the lady who let me out of the crate. We sat on the concrete and I liked the way you rubbed me behind my ears. I still remember that your ankle tasted like love the first time I kissed you.
I tried so hard not to scratch in front of you, even though I scratched all the time. I was pretty sure this was why no humans wanted me. I remember hoping you would see past all my white flakes against my jet black fur. But I really couldn’t help it. I just itched constantly. Every day, that little pill helped me with it. And the spray did too. I never wanted you to see the worst of me. I just wanted you to see my dark chocolate eyes and what a good boy I could be. Then maybe you’d pick me. I imagined life without a crate around me. I imagined life with you.
I remember that other human with the short hair that day. He’s the one with the blue rubbery hands. He’s showed you my folds, my itchies. I told myself not to bark. I really didn’t want you to see that. Or if you did, maybe you could love me anyway. I wanted to be loved me beyond my skin, and my scabs, and my itching, and my flakes. I knew I could be a great dog, if it weren’t for that. And I remember thinking that I would be so good for you every day when you gave me my pill.
I remember how excited I was when they handed you the long ropey thing that holds on to me so we don’t get hurt. And I swore that if you put the ropey thing on me, I would never run from you. I just wanted to be safe together. I remember we walked and it was like I suddenly belonged to you. Little did I know, I would belong to you forever. You are what love tastes like.
I will never forget that perfect forever walk out of the crate. I remember you putting me in your human mover thing, but this time in the back seat with two kids. I hadn’t been in a human mover thing without a crate. I remember you put on the blowy thing. I was finally cool. You took me to this wonderful place that had lots of room and a yard with a fence so I wouldn’t get hurt. You called me Teddy, just like everyone else did. And you gave me fresh water and treats. That was the day I fell in love with you.
You always did what you could to help me. I’m so sorry I kept itching and you had to clean me all the time. I’m so sorry that the medication made it hard for me to not make a mess in our wonderful space. You know I never wanted to make a mess. But you always cleaned it up and you never spanked me. You just tickled my ear and gave me another treat. And I would kiss your ankle because that’s what love tastes like.
I saw how scared you were that day when I couldn’t get up anymore. I remember that your eyes were different, watery. And I was terrified, and really sick. I didn’t know what was happening. Suddenly, my itchies were no more and I ran toward this beautiful bridge. As I looked back, I saw you crying, the way I used to in my crate. But I could play without itching. But I couldn’t take you with me, like you took me with you.
But what I will have forever is knowing what love tastes like.