One of the hardest things about being a military family is the decision to have pets, or not to have pets. Moving is hard on pets. Moving across the planet is really hard on pets. When we moved to Germany we decided no more pets, or rather no more big or rather, long life span pets, however callous that may sound.

Yet I am a huge lover of everything fur.  Even Tess’s baby rats.  Baby rats that despite their tiny size give a lot of comfort and cuddling and smiles.  However, my idea of the perfect ball of fur is the bigger, the better.  A horse, or giraffe, tops the list. A horse-size dog comes next.  Beowulf, my best-friend-in-Germany’s beautiful boy, came close.

Beowulf, or Bey, was everyone’s friend. Everyone’s buddy.  Even people (Dane) with an unreasonable fear of dogs, big dogs with big teeth, loved Bey. Dane loved cuddling with Bey. He loved holding his leash, taking him out for a walk. Telling Bey all about his day.  Even more, he loved when we got to the field and he could take Bey’s leash off.  Until you’ve seen a mature, sedate, stately even, German Shepherd bouncing through waist high fields, his ears flopping with the wind, his tongue lolling about with joy, you haven’t experienced a moment of pure joy.

For me, Bey was my quilting buddy. Sarah brought Bey most quilting days, always at my house. We have lots of tables for lots of projects, hence lots of room for quilting.  Still, even with lots of tables, there comes a point in a quilt where it must be laid out on the floor, to get the blocks just so.  This was Bey’s favorite part.

As mentioned, I love furballs. So when Bey comes to visit there’s always a bowl of water, a snack, and a nice, warm, fluffy blanket just for him. Right by me.  He loves to lay at my feet while I sew.  I love to have him at my feet while I sew. For most of the day, he stays at my feet, content with a kind word and a ruffle of the fur now and again.  Until…

Until I lay out the thin scraps of cotton to create the pattern. The final design of the quilt.  Then his head lifts off his paws, a light goes on in his eyes, and his tongue pops out just a little in an trying-to-hide-it excited little pant.  Because Bey knows, once I finish laying out the pattern, I need to pick up a couple of blocks, go back to the sewing machine, and stitch them together.  And that?  That is his chance!

The second I again bend my head to sew, Bey stealthy skims the rooms edge and quietly, and oh so happily, lays down on the middle of the unfinished, brandnew, paper thin quilt.

Last night Bey took his last breath.  Last night Sarah and family lost their beloved family member, their beautiful boy, their Beowulf. Our Bey.  I am trying so hard to stop my tears, so I can go and be a good friend, but I really loved that big furball and my tears won’t stop.  I miss you Bey.  I miss you so much.