After one month of Esa's absence I am finally able to write this post. During these days I have concluded the following; our lives will never be the same, I am a better person for having had her as a companion for nearly 15 years, the knot in my chest is there for a worthwhile reason, and dogs do not make our lives, but loving them truly brings a depth of uncondionality humans are incapable of generating.
Esa went wherever I went, without hesitation, to work, on every run, through mountain ranges of snow and ice and across many rivers. She really had been everywhere. Here are the highlights;
South Baldy, Magdalena's, New Mexico, Circa 2004
Adopted from a Humane Society event in Albuquerque, she was clearly the most unhealthy animal available at present; she was also the most intelligent and alert. I fell in love with her because she had an air of "what you see is what you get, take it or leave it," which I could relate to and admire.
Six moves, two across multiple state lines, cruising in my Blazer and crashing in hotels.
Day 1 of Her Arrival, Albuquerque, 1997
She and I hiked and/or backpacked more than 12 mountain chains.
At the very least, we ran more than 2400 miles together.
She reared Gordy and was a valiant protector of Gavins' for more than 6 years.
Shasta Lake, NorCal, Circa 2001
In pursuit of a squirrel, she could sprint so fast across a flat plane, her momentum would propel her body up a tree in excess of 5'.
A collie mix who spent years' teaching us agility training by retrieving and then guiding her ball back to us using her snout and fore-legs; Fetch was for a lesser being.
Esa never visited me in the shower, until 2 days before her passing. She was looking for comfort I could not give at present but would commit to giving two days later when she died on my lap in our living room. She knew I always kept my word.
Red River, New Mexico, 2011
Thanks to God for bringing this little girl into my life. I pray I will always feel the presence of her shadow nearby.