I couldn’t put her paw print casting back into the Christmas tub with the rest of the ornaments. It rested on this countertop. Then I moved it to a different spot. Finally, the casting landed on my work station. Inside the secure baggy holds the final physical print my dog made on this planet. I’ve been daring myself to glue each piece back together. I tremble with the thought repairing this delicate parched ceramic casting. Her name, MAGGIE MAE, is barely visible. One bump and it could be over. A pile of crumbs will be all that is left. Should I be doing this? Shouldn’t I keep it locked up in this baggy where all my memories reside? Am I risking the loss of everything? I need to, or is it my hopes to hold on tight and slow down the process of my memories eroding away? The fact is, it’s been 5 years.
I must fix it. When I look at the paw print flaking away, I have to do something. This is my baby girl’s print. It represents the mark she made on my heart. I relive chasing her down the blocks when she got out again to curling up beside her on a cold winter’s night. She was my baby girl for 10 years. We shared her first experience chasing the waves and us along the shoreline in Big Sir. All the trips to Pismo Beach walking endless miles. The bubble baths and doctor visits are etched into my memory. She was a big part of our lives.
I prepare the table. Glue, paintbrush, paper, and a gentle touch. Slowly I slide the print onto the paper. I size it up and squirt glue between the cracks. I brush the back and all around the edges. Along the way, pieces get stuck on the brush pulling at my memories. Slowly and quietly, I work away. The fridge’s hmm breaks the silence. Moments of joy rush my memories. She again pulls on my heartstrings. I watch a tear dissolve into the plaster.
I did my best. We will see what the outcome will be another day. Through the repairs, I know this object doesn’t hold my love for Mae Mae. I do. As the glue dries, I smile and walk away.
It’s time to get another rescue puppy and make new memories!