When Maisy was in the ICU, I never once wondered if we'd ever compete in another dog show. I didn't think about the ribbons and the titles. Surprisingly, I only briefly questioned if we'd be able to go hiking again.
No, what I missed was her glorious naughtiness.
I missed the way she hogs all the pillows at night. I missed the way she will nose open the sock drawer in order to steal her favorite ones. I missed the way she runs circles around my feet in the morning, nipping at my calves if I don't move fast enough.
I couldn't eat without being overcome by sadness that no one was there to beg for food. My morning routine felt short and weird because I didn't need to spend ten minutes waiting for someone to find just the right spot to pee. When friends came to visit, it felt bizarre that there was no one dancing at my feet, excited to see who was on the other side of the door.
After she got home, I celebrated the smallest things. Stealing an apple out of my hand while I was eating it. Waking up with a tennis ball in my bed. Chasing a squirrel down the block.
The things you miss are now what you expect. Yes, sometimes Maisy annoys me, but lately, these obnoxious acts are nothing short of a miracle. I'm so thankful to have my (rotten) dog home and (mostly) recovered.