You most faithful of all faithful hounds
You Argus waiting at the door
You protectress of hearth and home
You, of the freckled snout
You of the ever watchful gaze
You of the snowy white chest
You of the fearsome midnight bark
You of the sweetest temper
You, who loved us more than life itself
You, who always knew when someone was almost home
You who curled up near the door
You who braved every fierce blizzard
You who drank from cricks and swam in dugouts
You, born on this farm and knowing no other home, not caring to even muse on such a thing
You who were free as the wind but who stayed for love and love alone.
You, illl-begotten get of Winnie, muttiest of mutts and the purebred boy-next-door.
You who were such a gift to us, adored by the world,
You of the aristocratic name – Cecilia, noblest of all.
You who saw every sunset and every moonrise on this farm since the day you were born (not counting those few days at the vet, but they hardly count)
You who knew every speck of this place, sniffed every scent there was to sniff
You who were too dainty and too pretty to bother with porcupine quills and would never dream of getting skunk sprayed
You who kept the coyotes away, even when I saw their eyes glowing in the darkness just across the road.
You who let strangers know they were welcome only if we said so
You who greeted old friends like old friends
You who needed to be by your master’s side
You, who would follow us anywhere and everywhere, even if it led to your death
You, who were everything a dog is supposed to be be, and more
You will run like the wind with Lizzie now, and howl at the moon with Winnie, and roll in the grass with Fiona and Ariadne, and chase cars with Javel and Shep and curl up near the door with Gus and bark at the coyotes with all the Nicks who came before you.
This farm is an empty place without you.