You were not mine by paper, name or deed. I didn’t pick you out or bring you home. I wasn’t there for the puppy years. In curses your name passed from family lips. Stubborn and smart. Our mini cow. Your place is cemented in my heart. I will miss your steadfast ways, the beast always at my side. The couch and floor are cleaned of drool. No thud of head echoes around the room. There is no pantry guard or quiet ankle kisses. Emptiness has claimed the spots you occupied. And yet, there are paw prints embedded in my heart.