I tried to write about Beorn, the first dog hubs and I got after we were married, and I failed. I knew I was failing; I looked at him and wrote some sentences and couldn’t get to my heart.
I thought, while I was failing, that maybe it’s just hard to write about stuff you love too much. I thought, maybe it will always be this hard to write the things rooted and veined across my entire being.
Which, what horseshit. I mean…please. When am I not writing about the emotional fuckery that has ridden me to dust and raised me to sheer rays?
So here’s Take 2.
Beorn is puppy soft, and we tell people it’s because his diet is so fancy. But the truth is he is our Velveteen Rabbit, and his fur is puppy soft because he is his heart. He was once wiry and scruffy and coarse and now he is soft and silky, the way kindness would feel if you could pet it.
Beorn is smart, like knows all of his toys by name smart and knows how to unlock his cage smart (but won’t because he is a good boy) and knows tricks and commands smart. He is smart like he knows when I’m about to leave, and he knows for how long, and he knows how to show me he’s sad and he knows how to ask for what he wants and he knows when the dog sitter needs help finding stuff and he knows when his sister dogs need help getting stuff from high up places and he knows to leave the cat alone. He is smart like he waits with me while I go to the bathroom because I wait with him when he goes and he’s smart like he waits till it’s his turn to eat and doesn’t beg.
Beorn is sweet, and we tell people it’s just his nature. And maybe it is, but he wasn’t a trusting dog when we first got him. He grew trust the way he grew soft, by letting us bath him and letting us feed him and letting us stroke his head and murmur nonsense nothings at him and letting us be excited whenever he comes running to greet us. He grew trust by being goofy around us when we made up songs about him and being worried when we fought with each other. He grew trust by letting us in, and I grew trust by watching him do it.
Beorn is older now, calmer. A little slower. He is my forever puppy boy, but his hips are achy and sometimes he can’t jump as high. He is puppy soft, but he gets little skin growths and is showing white around his muzzle. He is keen and interested and curious, but his eyes are silvery in the middle and sometimes he misses the popcorn we throw him.
Beorn will leave us one day, and I will have to hold his paw and remind him he’s my good boy and that I love him, and then I’ll have to let him go.
And it isn’t hard to write it because I feel it too deeply to describe it.
It’s hard to write it because I’ll never let him go. He’s my forever puppy. He’s soft just like he made my heart.