After Moses died in March, my sister and I talked about possibly getting tattoos to commemorate him. I wasn't sure what to get. I didn't want a portrait, I didn't want words...I wanted to capture the feelings that I got from him - comfort, love, relaxation, happiness, laughter....
My sister is moving out of state next month, so I decided that, as a going away/Christmas present, I would pay for us to get tattoos together. It would be a bonding moment for my sister and I (it should be noted that we don't have many of those because we're polar opposites & don't really like each other 75% of the time).
I decided to get his paw print on my shoulder. It seems a little cliche and overdone. "Ohhhh she has an animal paw print on her back/neck/arm/etc. sooo cool and original." You know, like a tattoo of a butterfly or a dream catcher or something. But I wanted to commemorate a feeling, a moment, that I had with Moses. The feeling that I found myself in need of and missing was a very particular one. Whenever I was having a very stressful, anxiety-filled day, I would come home and collapse on the cold kitchen floor, laying flat on my stomach with my forehead against the linoleum. Moses would pad over to me and climb on my back, massaging my back with his warm little paws. Eventually he would settle down, resting one paw on either shoulder and settling his chin on top of my head. And then he'd sigh, a deep pug sigh, and everything would be gone. All my troubles, all my worries, all my tears. Everything would have been kneaded out with his little paws and sighed away as he settled deeper between my shoulder blades. I cannot imagine a better feeling in the world than having my warm, soft, fat, 20 pound best friend resting between my shoulders, his heavy head resting upon my own.
I got this tattoo to remember one of the many things that Moses gave me in our ten years together - deep comfort and a total release of all my troubles. Sometimes I try to remember what it felt like to have him resting on my back like he used to, and I am overcome with grief that I will never have anything identical to that again, but also joy that I ever had a dog as perfect as Moses, my little everything for 10 wonderful years of my life.