Saying Goodbye.

For 8 and a half years, every time I would leave the house I’d have to tell Asshead, “You stay. Be good. I’ll be back.” She’s always been highly intelligent, and upon hearing those specific words combined with that tone, she knew she wasn’t coming with.

If I neglected to tell her those things, she’d park herself by the door, waiting for a trip to the park or the pet store or over to The Mom’s house. Once I said those words, her face would fall into a pout, and she walk away sadly, staring longingly at the front door until I’d gone.

Every day went like this.

On the weekends though, somehow she always knew I was taking her everywhere with me. The alarm could still go off at the same time, and my morning routine would be the same, but by the time I got to the front door she would be doing 4-foot vertical flips in excitement. If I was headed somewhere she was unwelcome, it took some serious convincing to get her to realize she wouldn’t be going with.

Somehow, this morning, she knew she was coming with. She just didn’t know where.

If I honestly believed in Angels walking the Earth, I would be easily convinced that Tammy is one of them. Asshead has shown genuine affection for a handful of females on this planet, and she or I had known them for a while. After sniffing every conceivable surface in her new home while I gave Tammy the lowdown on how often to kick her, Asshead climbed up onto the couch and sat right next to Tammy, licking the side of her face repeatedly.

I stared in disbelief while asking if she used steak sauce for perfume and exclaiming that my goddam dog doesn’t like anyone this quickly. Tammy replied very simply that my dog just has a good sense for “good souls.”

I couldn’t help but agree, for I chose Tammy over other prospective owners, with their big yards and constant company, because she just seemed right.

Tammy sat explaining that she and her husband wouldn’t be taking any real vacations unless they were going to visit her sister’s mission in South Africa and would take the dog anywhere else they chose to visit in the States.

She also mentioned that the dog would have someone at home almost constantly unless both she and her husband were volunteering at their church.

Tammy asked me for an itemized list of Asshead’s favorite treats before exchanging all of our personal information, promising me that she’ll email me pictures and news on Asshead’s new life. I promised her the same.

When she asked, “Are you sad?” I nodded my head stiffly and choked out, “Yes. Yes, I am.”

“We’re gonna love her and give her a great home, you know,” she said with her hand sympathetically on my shoulder.

“Yeah, I DO know that,” I said quietly, “probably a better home than I did.”

I stooped down and scratched Asshead’s ears the way she likes, then stood and grabbed my keys. I’d barely turned towards the door before Asshead came bounding past me, pawing at the door in anticipation.

I grabbed the doorknob, turned and told her sternly, “You stay. Be good. I won’t be back.”

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