Benny in his prime
His profile pic showed him lying in a patch of sunshine, gold and white fur glinting, paws crossed, black-rimmed eyes gazing into the camera.
I knew then love at first sight was real. I went to see him the next day, and he was ours a week later. Ours for thirteen of his almost fifteen years. Our Benny wasn't exactly perfect in the classic sense, as he didn't love everyone and everything, but he loved us perfectly and tolerated others, mostly, if they bribed him with a couple of treats.
I was his chosen one, though, and he would never willingly leave my side. Sometimes it was hard to be his favorite, especially in the end. He taught me about devotion, and patience, but I'm still a C+ student trying to live up to a gifted teacher's vision. He'd been in decline for the past two years, but he always rallied. Just last week I thought he might surprise us and live to see his fifteenth birthday, but I know that was magical thinking, because that's real, too.
He let us know this week that it was, without a doubt, time for him to take his leave. Today was warm and beautiful, and our vet let us sit next to him on a blanket outside, in a patch of sunshine, as we said goodbye.
Mari Ann Stefanelli