A few posts ago I put up a video of Maddie running a Jumpers course. Something strange happened when I watched that video. For the first time - ever - I found myself thinking, "I WISH I could run that course with Tessa". In fact, as I watched Maddie run, I was half visualizing my handling if I were to run that now and how Tessa would probably run.
When I realized that I was both happy and sad. Happy because Tessa and I are truly getting to be a team. I am thinking in terms of how things work for her. Sad, of course, because I still miss my Maddie-girl.
Honestly, I don't miss her as an Agility partner now. That might sound horrible, but when I think of her at trials now, I think about how we would walk the grounds together, how she and Dean were trial buddies, hanging out with her in the car, and sitting together on her mat on the sidelines. Sometimes I do think of, and miss, the power that she had, especially on a well executed serpentine.
But I miss Maddie much more on a day to day basis. I miss snuggling with her while watching TV. I miss her presence in our day to day lives. I miss seeing her on the bed where she often hung out.
I shouldn't compare Tessa to Maddie, but sometimes I can't help it. I don't do it much, but it happens. Tessa certainly stands on her own as the girl of the house. She has her own way of making her presence felt. She's not nearly the stinker that Maddie could be at times (no, I really don't miss going out to pry a flattened Maddie who didn't want to leave the sunny yard up off the ground to make her go into the house!!). She is not the people dog that Maddie was. But Tessa has style. She has strength and determination. She may not be the physical powerhouse that Maddie was, but what she lacks in muscle, she makes up for in her strength of mind. Tessa is much, much more girly - she's a girl, she knows it, and she loves it!
Tessa and I will have our own courses to run - many of them, I hope! Some I'll love, and some I won't. I hope I always remember to appreciate every moment of them - the good and the bad. And I hope I always remember the girl in whose footsteps, Tessa happily follows. When Maddie was alive, she loved to follow her around and do whatever Maddie did. Now she and I are finding our own path, but we do well to remember Miss Maddie.
I can't believe it's been almost a year. It feels like it can't be that long, and it feels like it's been forever.