A Letter to Angus

A Letter to Angus

To Angus

Dear Angus,

I don’t think there has been one day since the fire that I haven’t thought about you. I can still picture you snoring on your little bed on the floor right beside me, your paws twitching as if you were running in your dreams.

You hadn’t run in a very long time. You were old, blind, somewhat deaf and your little legs could barely carry you upstairs. So I carried you up to our bedroom every night and we snuggled. You’d lick my face and make grunting sounds and your tail would wag furiously before we’d both settle down for the evening. It was our nightly ritual, cuddles, kisses and then your loud snores would mingle with whatever book I was reading. I’d laugh because you were so damn adorable and so very loveable. You were my little boy.

When I heard those frightening sounds coming from downstairs, I should have grabbed you. I should have carried you downstairs and out the front door to safety. But I didn’t know, Angus. It all happened so fast. I didn’t smell smoke. I knew something was terribly wrong because of the loud pop and then his screams. I should have taken you with me and I’m so sorry.

When I saw him in flames, I ran toward the source instead of back upstairs to you. I forgot about you, Angus. I forgot and I failed you. When I did remember, I tried to save you. I got halfway upstairs, but the smoke was thick and I began choking. So I went outside and screamed. The neighbors started showing and I ran back in the house because I was determined to reach you. I tried crawling on my hands and knees, but I only made it inside the bedroom doorway. You were about 6 feet from me, but I had to leave you behind. I am so very sorry.

A firefighter told me you were probably gone quickly because the smoke would have instantly suffocated your little lungs. He said he was sure you died peacefully. But I know you died violently. I know you fell through the floor to the living room below. I know you died alone in a violent blaze.

For months after the fire, I kept thinking I heard your little grunts. Sometimes you’d appear in the corner of my eye and I’d turn toward you, but it was all my imagination. I’m haunted by your memory, Angus. I loved you like one of my children and sometimes I feel like I should have given my life for you, as I would for them. I raised you from infancy to old man. You were my family, the only family who loved me unconditionally.

You will always be my little Angly Pangly, my piggly wiggly, my little boy. You will always have a special place in my heart.




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