Hard to Believe It's Been a Year

 How I remember Benji: surrounded by his favorite toys.

How I remember Benji: surrounded by his favorite toys.

It's 3:30 pm, Halloween afternoon. Last year at this time, I was at the vet, saying goodbye to Benji. Benji had been with me for just over sixteen years at that point. I'd known for weeks that the day was coming, but that didn't make the day any easier when it finally arrived, when it was time to help Benji cross the Rainbow Bridge. The house felt empty that night, despite the parade of trick-or-treaters outside, and it felt that way for months after, until I brought Duncan home Easter weekend.

 Duncan decided he wanted to be wonton for Halloween.

Duncan decided he wanted to be wonton for Halloween.

Tonight I will again studiously avoid trick-or-treaters, just as I did that night a year ago. Instead, I will light a candle and sit with Duncan and tell him about the big brother he never knew. How Benji liked to sleep on the back of the sofa in the same place Duncan does. How Benji, like Duncan, couldn't hold his licker. How Benji--all 15 pounds of him--figured out how to take up an entire queen-sized mattress. How Benji loved his squeaky balls. How he "talked" whenever I was on the phone. How Benji purred and groomed himself like a cat. How, in his later years, he liked to sun himself on the deck. How Benji, from his place over the Rainbow Bridge, brought Duncan and I together. (How else to explain that Duncan's adoption began on what would have been Benji's 17th birthday?)

Rest in peace, my Benji boy. And thank you.