The first thing I noticed about him was that he was incredibly loud. Every step I took, I kept bumping into the sounds of his voice and for some reason it really felt like he was calling out to me among that crowd of people. So I stopped, turned around and there he was looking at me with those forlorn eyes. What can I tell you about those eyes, the eyes that always found me, irrespective of what he was doing, who he was with, his eyes always found me. I think I fell in love with his eyes first, or rather the sadness he carried in his eyes. And I think the same can be said of him, maybe that’s why his eyes always searched for me; because the sadness in my eyes understood the sadness in his eyes.
We didn’t share the same language, but I often whispered my deepest secrets and wildest dreams into his ear and in turn he kept them safely hidden inside the folds of his soul. It never occurred to me that we would not grow old together. Every whim I had, each plan I made, he was there; right bang in the center of it. I remember those days when we spent hours weaving our dreams together into something a little incomprehensible at times, but still something that was familiar and comforting to both of us. He really was that mythical gentleman I had read about in the books of my teenage years. Always by my side, always sweet, always kind, always dependable!
We endured a lot in those two and a half years, yet somehow we made it through and now there was so much joy and adventure to look forward to. Then, on 8 June 2021, I heard his loud voice, calling out to me once again. I ran up the stairs, calling his name, asking him if everything was okay and then I saw his lifeless body. And in that moment, it dawned on me that Tiny Tim is that guy I wouldn’t get to grow old with.
I grieved for Tiny Tim for months and in some ways I’m sure I always will. In the days following his passing, I told myself and anyone that would listen that I am never going to let myself go through such pain again; that I would never adopt another dog. Then one very ordinary day, I came to realize that I was focusing only on my pain, my loss, my dog. I could see that I had made the entire thing about me. But I suppose that grief in itself is a very selfish process, whereby we see our pain as the only one of its kind.
But now on the first anniversary of his passing, I can celebrate his life, I can share our story and find little joys in all the nooks and corners of the two and half years we spent together. I see a little bit of Tiny in everyone; I see that we are all broken in our own ways and I see that those broken pieces can be lovingly pieced back together, and that is the greatest act of love we can give to ourselves and to those around us