The Last Goodbye- A Year Later
To my dear sweet old boy,
This day, a year ago, we parted ways for the last time.
Life hasn’t quite been the same without you, and I suspect it never truly will be. You were my first, old boy, and you will always hold a dear spot in my heart. Looking back at all we did together, I am reminded of how wonderful of a team we were and all the memories we made together.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss you, or that this year has been an easy one. From the moment I woke up this morning, those last moments with you were brought back to life, and they hurt.
Petting your soft ears for the last time as you slipped away. Looking back, I don’t remember what I all said to you as you slipped away, just that they were words of love. I gently twisted your soft ears in my hand, and I remembered the life we had led together. Our vet stroked your head as she listened and when she looked up to say “He’s gone” there were unshed tears in her eyes. Those words still haunt me to this day, bringing to full reality the fact that you are gone.
Now, your tags clink quietly on my keychain. The ribbons and medals that we won together wave softly in the nighttime breeze as I type this and I remember how wonderful you were. I remember the filthy little dog that came home that day, so many years ago, and how many washings it took to reveal the white and brown coated terrier beneath.
You were, and always will be, my old boy. I feel honored to have had you in my life and to have been loved so deeply by you. You placed such absolute trust in me, willingly following me down the strange and winding path of life, tail wagging the whole way, questioning and testing me occasionally as you were wont to do, but never failing to trust in me. There will never be another like you and I’m thankful that you blessed my life for as long as you could. Still, I won’t lie- I can’t help but feel like a terrible mommy to you for having to make that final decision. I only hope that you knew how much you were loved and how deeply I miss your stubborn, sweet, little old man self.
I hope that you’re running free, healthy, and happy with Missy and Daphne. I hope that one day, we will all see one another again and all the dogs I loved and have yet to meet and love, will be there to greet me. I carry with me the knowledge from years of our training together as I work with the obnoxious little puppy that you knew briefly, who has since grown into a big, obnoxious puppy. I hope that you know that even she, for the short period of time that she spent with you, still remembers you in her own small ways.
At Agility training the other week, there were a couple of dummy dogs placed around the room and Xeva could have cared less about most of them once she realized that they weren’t real. But there was one in particular that she still is thrilled to see, time and time again. A little small, brown and white terrier.
She licks and cleans its whole face, every time she sees it. Just like she did to you whenever you had the patience to allow it- or were just too fed up to care. It is the only one she ever wiggles her stub of a tail at and fixates on. The lab and other little white dog one she never pays attention to, even though all the other dogs seem to be interested in them. But the little white and brown terrier is the one that she still will make a point to visit whenever she sees it out.
So, I must wrap up this goodbye, old man.
In short, I love you.
I miss you.
I’m always going to wish you were here to some degree.
But time has made your passing less painful, even though it does make me choke up from time to time, it is nowhere near as heartwrenching as it once was. Close, but not as bad. I cherish those late nights I spent with you, petting your head in the hopes you would drift off to sleep, those painful coughs sounding through the silent kitchen. Even throughout your illness, as fast as it progressed, I enjoyed being able to make your little tail wag like it always did, something that seldom happened at that point. I’ll always wish we had had more time together, but 14 years was a good run. It was a wonderful time, and one that I will always hold dear.
Rest easy, old boy, and sweet dreams.
In memory of-
Shez Biz Pastoral Symphony aka “Disney”
Born July 28, 1997
Died July 11, 2012