Remember Me at Night You walked by every day. I wagged when I knew you’d come. I could smell when the time was right, then you’d be in sight; my morning time chum. After a week, you couldn’t resist and you came over and patted my head. From that day on I came to rely on the kindness of strangers for my heart to be fed. I sat by myself just waiting for one moment to fill up my day. I barely felt the chain around my neck except when you were away. We were fast friends, enjoying a chat in the mornings when you stopped by. You brought me food and talked to me, told me I was a good guy. Some days you were distant, and watched the house behind the tree to which I was tied. You wondered aloud about who lived there. Who, besides you, would notice if I died? These times where when you’d climb the front stair and knock purposefully and ring at the bell. You’d call and you’d holler, “If anyone’s in your dog needs some water! He doesn’t look well!” But no one would come, though I knew they were home, those people that lived there inside. So you brought me water and brought me a ball and talked to me and fed me and petted my hide. Very late one night as I napped under my tree up drove a van to the walk. It opened up and I saw you hop out and you seemed in a hurry, too much to talk. “You’ve come to visit!” I wagged and wagged. Four people were shuffling about. You were all talking in whispers, so I didn’t bark. And then they brought the bolt cutters out. I was a little afraid, but I knew you were there. So I didn’t make even a peep. I watched you all cut the chain from the tree while the house in the dark continued to sleep. “Go for a ride?” You asked with a grin. And I could hardly believe my ears. I hopped right inside, found a soft floor. You climbed in behind me, your eyes full of tears. “From now on it’s all different,” you told me with love. “We’re leaving here now for a whole new life.” I knew you were my angel, sent from above. We drove through the night to a new house in the dark. A new person inside, you called her “Doc” I knew that I still shouldn’t bark. She looked at the chain in her jammies and told you it wasn’t so bad. The chain was embedded in my sore neck. She said as she worked, “This makes me so mad.” I barely had time to give out a yelp before the chain was out on the floor. You threw it away with a sour look and told me I’d see it no more. Then we were off again to another new place that smelled just like you, on the walls were pictures that had your face. “You’re safe here tonight,” you said, “there’s a bed in the room. “Sleep with us if you like, “but first we should groom.” Then came warm water and soap and a brush, and the mud washed away and down into mush. “You’re a white dog!” you said, and you sounded so shocked. Of course I’m a white dog, I thought. And I’m even curly-locked! We slept all that night, straight into the day. I kept waking up to be sure you were there. And then you woke up, stretched and yawned and brought me outside and down the front stair. “We’re going for a trip today,” you said. “It’ll be long and tiring and dull. “But I won’t mind too much, and neither should you. “Someone’s waiting for you to make their lives full. “There are people out there who want you to live “and they’re sweet and they love and they share. “Over the mountains and down the other side “they’re waiting to show you they care.” It was long and tiring but the French fries were good. And you sang songs and talked away as we drove. We chased the sun up and down the Rockies and you smiled and hummed and I dozed. You woke me when we got there, a new home in the dark. I could tell you were sad as you rang the bell and this time I hazarded a bark. You looked down at me and smiled. There were big tears in your eyes. “Honey,” you said, “watch this.” The sun started to rise. You got down on your knees there on the porch. I could hear movement in the house. You hugged me tight and kissed my head and told me this, quiet as a mouse: “Your life is now yours “from this very day on. “You will play every day, “but I will be gone. “Remember me at night “when you sleep in your bed. “And think of me often “but don’t worry your head. “I’m with you always “to keep the darkness at bay. “We’ve shared an adventure. “Your new life starts with this day.” Then the door opened wide and my new life took flight. I run every day and I play and I play and my muzzle turns gray But when in darkness I lay, I remember you always at night.