(Deb Lindsey/For the Washington Post)

Brenda Funk

45, Rockville, photographer, writer

A bottle-cap magnet, made by my daughters and me a few years ago, holds a picture of my dog Mojo, who died in my arms May 28. His expression is classic Mojo: eyes meeting mine, head slightly tilted, ears perked. Ready for whatever decision I might make next, never doubting my direction.

In 151 / 2 years, how many thousands of times did he look at me this way?

His trusting gaze was there when he was a scrappy, shiny-coated puppy and I was a single city-dweller just making it in the “real” world. When I was newly married and when I became a mother in the suburbs. Whether I could give him hours of attention one day or nary a minute the next.

That gaze was there still as his muzzle and face grayed, his eyes and ears failed him, and his energy dwindled to where he could barely make it to the end of the cul-de-sac and back.

Save the magnet? Of course, along with the countless other photographs I have of him. I need not, however. For as certain as the chronic ache in my heart from losing him, so, too, is my memory of his eyes looking into mine.