Today is Cubbie’s birthday. He would have turned nine. He would have gobbled up a celebratory gourmet dog cookie with a candle in the middle. He would have walked bowlegged through the neighborhood, greeting passing dogs and people with the kind of amiable superstar charm that is reserved for celebrity darlings like George Clooney and Tom Hanks. He would have nestled in bed beside me, keeping me company as I type this. He would have fallen asleep quickly, his barreled body warm and soft and all the things Cub was and isn’t anymore.
I wish I’d given him five celebratory gourmet cookies last year.
Joe told me I need to stop writing sad posts about the dog. He told me enough already, Heidi. You wrote your closure piece, now move on.
So today I moved on. I did what I thought was the best possible thing to do on Cub’s birthday. I loaded Henry into the kayak, tucked Cubbie’s ashes into a waterproof bag and pushed off into the bay at sunset.
The weather was perfect. The water was glass. The air was still and the park was quiet, save for my homeless friend Charlie, who wished us well as we paddled into the calm, orange distance. My son was well-rested and contemplative as I explained to him the significance of today’s paddle.
“We’re going to scatter some of Cub’s ashes in the water.”
“Cubbie has ashes,” he repeated.
“Yes,” I replied.
“We see Cubbie again?” He asked confused, or so I thought.