Jennydog left us a year ago after a shockingly short illness. She was an intense Border Collie—strong, elegant, fast and bossily dominant. She was noise-phobic, terrified of falling baby gates, unbelievably kind to my elderly mother, intolerant of rudeness in other dogs and people. She ruled the boys with relentlessness in some things and not in others. Jenny was our strength in times of tragedy; the one we knew would protect us if anyone meant us harm. With her gone, the house never feels the same and I still apologize to her when the gate hits the kitchen floor. One year later, my mother begins her slow journey towards death, and I dream of her beloved Jenny zooming around the house, hitting the couch so hard it rocked backwards.