How many times have we said to our anipals at one time or another, or too many times to count, “Your feet are filthy! Wait, wait, wait…gotta wipe them off before you come in the house!”
At our house, we spoke in “three’s” so Stuart was used to hearing, “Wait! Wait! Wait!” or “Come! Come! Come!” or “Go! Go! Go!”
Don’t ask me why. But he knew the drill.
Now I’m thrilled his feet were nearly always dirty.
I don’t know why I was so quick to say “yes” when the emergency room tech asked if we wanted a paw print the night Stuart passed. What did I want a paw print for? What would I do with it? It’s morbid. And tacky. Why, oh why, did I do that? It’ll bring nothing but more sadness into our lives.
Now I know. Specks of dirt from our final walk that day are captured on that paw print. So are some of his paw hairs and even padprints, like fingerprints, and faint toenail impressions.
I didn’t notice these things at first. But now, I clearly see the minute specks of dirt that sparkle in the sunshine when I hold it just right.
And there’s not one thing tacky about that.
UPDATE: One of Stuart’s anipals sent him a pawprint kit for Christmas one year. I loved it and planned to make one, but for some reason, I never did. In NO WAY is making a pawprint a tacky thing to do. For me, though, as Stuart was making his way over the Bridge – in fact, he’d already gone – I thought it wasn’t the best thing to do. At the time. Now we’re so glad we have one!