(CW loss of pet)
This is Potter.
Throughout his 17 years, he had many nicknames, like all well-loved pets do.
He was named after Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby (yes, the Counting Crows song,) NOT Harry Potter, which is what people would always assume. Only his grandpa (my dad) was allowed to call him “Hairy Potter,” and he always greeted him with a head scratch and a “HEY Hairy, how are ya,” whenever they were around each other.
We said goodbye to Potter today. Or to his physical self – I think he will be near us always.
The Mr. and I adopted Potter right after we returned from our honeymoon, after I fell instantly in love with his overgrown messy-furred self, sitting quietly in his enclosure at the Denver animal shelter. I think The Mr. was looking for somefuzzy a little more perky and less messy, but I asked to see this one, and we went into the visitation area, where the black matted lump curled up in my lap and went to sleep. And I said “are you Potter? I think you’re Potter.”
And I knew the answer was yes.
So home he came, to my former single-girl condo turned newlywed home, and settled in. There was crate training, and puppy nipping, and pooping on the floor of Aunt Shannon’s holiday party. After a few shenanigans, (including a terrifying runaway incident on a very busy corner with The Mr. that makes me panic just to hear about,) Potter settled into life as the perfect city dog.
When we moved to The Treehouse, he was in heaven, sticking his snoot thru the slats on our ginormous 6th floor balcony to sniff the wind and survey his neighborhood from up above. It was that time in our life where your friends are your family – and all of ours were in walking distance of our little corner of the world. Potter was surrounded with love – Aunt Terresa called him “Baby Bear,” and Aunt Becca swore his fur was a soft as chenille. (Please universe, let me always remember how impossibly soft his fur was.)
He loved walkies in that neighborhood – up 7th avenue and around the block to the Governor’s Mansion. Him and I relished in long weekend naps on the bed, and his toys and bones were usually scattered everywhere.
He was the first one to know when I found out I was pregnant. He was the first one to know when my water broke. When Jr came home, Potter seemed a bit confused as to why we needed this new puppy, but he slowly earned his big brother badge, even if a bit begrudgingly in the early days.
Moving to the suburbs bewildered him as much as it did me, I think. He loved running around in his back yard, but wouldn’t do his business unless he was walked – and it became normal to see him and The Mr., maybe with other family members, maybe not, walking the paths surrounding our little neighborhood pond.
So the years slipped happily by in Potter-land – there were trips to the mountains to hike and run, visits with Grandparents, birthday parties with doggie ice-cream, frolicking and bounding like a bunny in deep fresh snow.
Potter was my constant sous chef, always right next to me in the kitchen ready to catch any crumbs that dropped accidently (ok, not always accidentally.) Popcorn was his favorite human snack, but ANYTHING you put peanut butter on was the instant best thing ever.
In the past few years neighbors would notice that The Mr. and Potter weren’t walking as often or as far, and his senior-dog self grew content puttering around in his back yard. Then the world changed, very suddenly, and Potter found his people all at home, all the time. As it got harder, and then impossible, for him to navigate even the couple stairs down into the back yard, we were there to lift him. When he couldn’t find his food and water bowls, we were there to hold them up to him.
When even the mobile groomer didn’t feel like he could be safely bathed and trimmed in her trailer, I grabbed the clippers I had bought to cut Jr’ hair and became Potter’s doggie hairdresser.
He was comfortable, and he was safe, and he was content. And another year passed with him getting all the love and affection and devotion we had to give.
Him and I had long talks, and I promised him I would always do what was best for him, even when that was hard. And it has been hard. But it has been my honor to be his person and to take this entire journey with him, even the hardest parts.
He made me a mom. I will always be Potter’s Mom.
In a world full of Very Good Boys, ours was The Very Goodest.
Run like crazy, my baby dog – with clear eyes that see forever, and strong legs that bend and jump.
But don’t go too far, and let me and brother and the big guy know you are here sometimes, ok?
Mama loves you so, Binky.