I did some gardening for the first time since Phoebe’s been gone. Phoebe has been my gardening companion since I started gardening in this yard, keeping me company. She knew the word “garden”, and when I put on the gloves and picked up the garden bag to go out to the yard, she’d scamper ahead of me, find a toy and bring it for me to throw for her. We’d play some fetch until she settled down to rest, or explore the yard for smells, while I started my weeding or pruning. Then she’d bring toys to me sporadically, keeping me from staying put in one position for too long. On a hot day, she’d take breaks in the shade, and when she was still able to climb the stairs, might go inside to get a drink of water. 

Even when she was older, and couldn’t climb the stairs, she’d still alternate between napping in the sun or shade (weather depending), and exploring the yard, and checking on me. Sometimes she’d bring a frisbee or ball, sometimes just stand beside me.

For over a decade, gardening has been one of my retreats. It was a way to recharge my mental energy, whether pruning, weeding or planting. Phoebe was always there, too. Hoping as the time goes by, I’ll feel her presence with me again.