The last time I saw you

A departure can come to us when we expect it the least. As the thanksgiving approaches, there is one moment that I recall in my heart with special feelings.

The first time I met the dog was when I visited the shop for the first time to purchase the very first guitar in my life. I had always been fascinated by the instrument, but never played one before. One early summer, I finally decided that it was time for me to fulfill this long-kept dream of mine. I looked up a few shops in Ottawa, and landed on a place near Glebe.

I recall it was a sunny weekend. When I walked in, I was welcomed by the smell of wood, caring faces, and one dog on the floor. I told them that I was looking for my first guitar and I had no prior experience of playing the instrument though I used to play the piano and the violin. The next day, I visited the shop again, and came back with a beautiful classical guitar in a brand new case and a lesson book. Yes, I decided to take lessons at the same shop to guide my journey with this new instrument.

Once every two weeks, I visited the shop for a lesson. When I arrived, the dog was always the first to welcome me inside. He was a very mature dog with a very caring personality. Once I reached the small lesson studio in the back, my teacher would call her dog. “Let’s go teach, B!” And the two of them would come into the studio together.

That day, just before the thanksgiving weekend, I went for my lesson as usual. The dog was with us in the lesson room as always, listening to the sound from our guitars. When we finished, my teacher left the lesson studio and went back to the reception desk where I would always pay my tuition and discuss our next schedule. Usually, the dog would follow her, but on this particular day, he didn’t. Instead, he was lying on the floor, looking at me with his beautiful black eyes.

“Bye, B!” I said as I left the studio to meet my teacher. And I never forget his eyes as he looked back at me. I felt he was communicating something to me. There was a deep sense of love, tranquility, and a little bit of sadness in his eyes.

Two days later, I received a note from my teacher addressed to all her friends and students. Her dog had suddenly passed away that weekend. I couldn’t believe what I had just read because just two days ago, I saw him and he looked healthy and fine.

Then I remembered the last eye contact I made with him. So many times, we fail to notice what would become our last time to meet somebody on this earth. But looking back, I couldn’t help feeling that the gaze he gave me that day was the gift he left for me, for somebody whom he had known only for a few months. It was a gift that warmed my heart immensely and will always remain in my heart.