Fletcher had a lump removed yesterday, so he spent the evening recovering at home, groggy and out of sorts from his general anesthesia. Working on my own dogs is always a challenge, as I turn from vet-mode into mom-mode (I didn't even do the surgery!), and work myself up with worry. Fletcher's recovery was uneventful, and while he was still at the clinic on fluids, I took the younger dogs with me for a trail run to decompress. I took Fletcher home, fed him dinner, and catered to him all evening. By bedtime, I had him settled in his usual place next to my side of the bed. Eric is away, working on a film set out of town, so I had the king-sized bed to myself. Fletcher didn't want up on the bed when I offered (he usually prefers his own bed), but Tiki took her usual place at the foot on my side. Jake was curled up in the corner of the living room sectional, and didn't lift his head when I kissed him goodnight. Exhausted from the eventful day, we all went right to sleep.
Sometime in the night, I woke up slightly, and could feel Tiki in her usual place on one side of me, and another dog pressed against my other side. In the dark, I reached down and felt Fletcher sigh in his sleep, still cozy on his bed. I assumed Jake had joined us from the couch, and went back to sleep, surrounded by canine love. When I woke up, there was an empty spot on one side of me, and Tiki still snoozing away. I went out to the living room, and there was Jake, still curled up in the exact same spot and position I had left him in the night before. I must have imagined him beside me, I thought. But I didn't really believe that. I knew I felt another dog beside me. I wondered if it was Jessie, my childhood dog, and Fletcher's first best friend. Could she have visited to watch over us both?
When I drove home from work today, my iPhone was on random, and as I turned at the stoplight towards home, it played a poem, one of my favorites by Edgar Allan Poe
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love
I and my Annabel Lee
And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee