In the summer of 2002, my sister wanted a dog. We met a sweet Labrador puppy at the animal shelter, and she agreed to come live with us.
My sister asked me to give her a name that wasn’t a canine standard, so I called her Neese.
Neese had a powerful tail. There was a short table by the basement couch where we played video games. If she came downstairs to see us, we had to pick up our drinks because she was so happy that her tail wagged like a destructive force of nature, knocking everything to the floor. Sometimes she joined us on the couch, and sometimes she just said hello and went back upstairs.
When my sister got married and moved out, Neese stayed with our parents for a few years, then rejoined my sister when they bought their house. She hated walking on the linoleum, but the first time I visited, she ignored it and came right up to me when I walked in, tail thumping against the wall.
Even toward the end, when her arthritis made her avoid getting up to say hello, her tail would beat against the floor when I knelt down to say hello.
Last night, Neese went to sleep for the last time.
Goodbye, pup. You are missed.