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Memories of Taps, by Saskia Kostka

After you left us, it became a habit for me to close my eyes and imagine; to spin dreams out of the threads of memories that you have left behind.

I see you in the distance, your back turned towards me. I’m on my way home and my brother is walking you. You are both only a few metres in front of me.

“Taps!” I shout. “Taps!”

You stop in your tracks. Your head – white little tufts of fur – turns slowly. Slowly, until your eyes catch a glimpse of me. Your ears perk up. You turn around, your ears now glued to your head and you dash towards me. You run and run and run, not minding the leash unfurling behind you, sending my brother flying. And then it snaps.

You are free. You fly into my arms and we tumble, the soft grass cushioning us. We reunite, in a different time, a different space. Through the mellow wind the leaves are rustling. And I hold you close.

Taps was a West Highland White Terrier and my childhood dog. He helped me through numerous difficult times but sadly and tragically passed away about two years ago. This story is based on an actual memory but also reflects the daydreaming I would frequently fall into right after his passing.

The night after my partner Brad’s dog Oscar died, I told him of how I imagine the reunion with our departed animals will transpire.

I hope this can bring comfort to all those who are mourning the loss of their dearly departed pet. You are not alone.

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