Macaroni, April 2007 – April 2019

It has taken me nearly two years to write about you, Macaroni. You were no ordinary dog and I don’t think I’ll ever meet another like you, one who knew my soul better than I did. I met you the day you were born, my senior year of high school. You were one of two survivors from a litter of six. I told my parents that I would buy the laptop I needed for college, if they would buy me you for graduation. After college, Corin and I moved to Japan, leaving you with my parents. When we came back to the States, we loaded up all of our possessions, and you, in my Ford Focus and moved west to Seattle. You immediately adapted to the city, transitioning from a Wyoming cow dog to a city coffee shop dog with ease. You became known in our Cap Hill neighborhood for being the doggy in the window, sitting on the arm of the chair in the bay window, waiting for us to come home each day. You were Best Dog at our wedding, given free rein of Golden Gardens’ Bathhouse during our small wedding reception. And when we had our first dance, spinning on the small dance floor, your instincts kicked in and you started to herd us, barking and circling until I picked you up and we ended the dance with you cradled in my arms, Corin holding onto your front paws. You became a working dog for a time, while I managed a law firm, greeting clients and demanding snacks from the UPS driver. You made everyone smile, all time. You weren’t particularly interested in cuddling so when you did, it felt like a special privilege. You lived for fetch and soccer and ended up losing some front teeth to an unfortunately aimed soccer kick. You made Corin a Mac person, and maybe a corgi person, but allowed him to maintain his dislike for “dog people” by growling at overly friendly dogs on neighborhood walks.
In December 2017, we noticed blood in your urine when you peed in the snow and by January we had a cancer diagnosis. Transitional cell carcinoma, a rare and terminal form of bladder cancer. Dr. Anderson helped us formulate a treatment plan and we hoped we’d get six more months with you. And because you were the best dog, you gave us over a year. We bought a house up north, with corgi height front windows for you to look out of and there we got to celebrate your 12th birthday. But by that point you wore diapers and had no interest in fetch and shortly after your hot dog birthday feast, you lost interest in even ground beef and cooked rice and we knew that you were no longer the dog you wanted to be. So we made a call and set a date. The day before the last day, we went to all of your favorite places: Fuel for morning coffee, where you used to lick the floors clean of croissant crumbs, Hello Robin for an ice cream, and Miller Park for a sit in the grass where you used to rip after a tennis ball until we made you stop and take a break. And then, we spent the next morning telling you we loved you and listening to all of your favorite songs and you died with a belly full of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, because of course you would still eat those. Then the house was empty and our hearts were shattered.
We didn’t think we could replace you, and we haven’t, but you sent us a really good friend to patch the hole in our hearts. His name is Nori and he came into our lives serendipitously, almost exactly a year to the day of your death. And he is nothing like you, and a little bit like you, and just what we needed. Thanks, Mac, for always taking care of us, making us laugh, and being the very best one.