I miss you in the kitchen, my constant companion throughout the preparation of meals.
I miss you sitting watchfully at the table, taking as much interest in the chopping of peppers for Ratatouille as you did in going for a walk or having a game of fetch.
I miss your eyes on me, and your paw, gently reaching up to tap a reassurance to both of us.
I miss you waiting patiently for your portion of the food served. I miss walking from the room knowing you wouldn’t touch any morsels left on the table as I prepared a meal, not even a tasty piece of fish, or a scrap of cheese tantalisingly in reach.
I miss the pride I always felt when any guest noticed you could be trusted in this way, and the warmth of affection when I watched you take proffered tidbits from visitors with gentleness, never snapping or wolfing down. Always gentlemanly and reticent.
I miss the way you’d lock on my eyes, watching for any small expression of encouragement. A tiny nod would bring you to my hand, a tilt of the head would alert you to step back.
I miss the chatter between us, me in words and you in the soft vocalisations you used to express your feelings. You did it more as you got older, and perhaps as you got more deaf.
I miss the kitchen door banging open when you arrived to join me. Closed doors were never an impediment to you.
I miss you massaging my back. Was there ever a dog who did such a thing? You were extraordinary.
I miss you, all the time.