It’s been two-and-a-half months since Toby, our black Labrador retriever, died. The house seems empty; “not enough fur to vacuum up,” as Jeff says. I especially noticed it when Jeff was at work during the day and there was no fuzzy companion lying next to my chair as I wrote or licking the bowl after I was finished with my ice cream.
Toby was a black lab with gray–no, silver–on his paws and nose. His thick tail wagged frantically and his eyes brightened when his human walked in the door. At night, he would keep all the monsters away with his hoarse, baritone bark; if there were 100 dogs talking in a park, you’d easily be able to pick out Toby.
Post originally posted on my pleonast.com blog and on my notes page on Facebook. I am posting a modified version here because it is an essential piece of why “Roots Run Deep.” It was written during the summer of 2011 when I stayed home on the farm after graduating from Purdue and before heading to Penn State because the timing didn’t work out for any internships or full-time jobs.
My dog has been following me wherever I go during chores. Part of it is probably because I feed her, but even if she isn’t done eating, she’ll leave her pan of food in the barn and follow me out to the cow pasture. She stays by me while I’m watering the stock, and when I’m walking back and forth from the barn, she stays behind me or to my right side. She’s hardly ever gone to my left, even though I’ve experimented and tried to get her to go to the left. In those instances, she just stays behind. Continue reading “Roots”