Attachment is what it is. Attachment to how things are. Attachment to the present, even as the present slips into the past. Sparkey is a symbol of the life we have lived for fourteen years---the majority of our seventeen years of marriage---and the loyal mascot and guide who has seen us through so much---so knowingly, so quietly, so regally.
I am attached to his smell, the feeling of his fur against my leg, that pointy spot on the top of his head, his wet nose, his soulful eyes and determined eagerness to be outdoors, prancing in the leaves, water, and grass. His paws often smell like the sweetest, earthiest musk, and his presence has always been a source of calm---through nursing school, Mary's grad school days, Rene's transition from childhood into adulthood, the murder and soul-wrenching loss of our best family friend in 2001. He's always been there. And now we're there for him as he prepares to leave, and I am finally beginning to let go.
You can go now, Sparks. It's been a job well done, a life well lived. You can let go and know that you were the best dog you could be and brought so much joy to many. Be free.