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Yesterday was just another day in the normal scheme of things. People went to work, business transactions took place in prestigious office towers, and the Internet took us around the world in seconds.
But for me, the world stopped. Once more I felt the deep pain of losing someone who made the sun shine and grey skies go away.
For, like my husband who died seven years earlier, my special little guy made life fun and full of meaning. And once again, I am caught off balance, struggling to find a way to move forward. Once again, my heart is torn, and tears keep falling and won’t stop.
Oh, he was small in comparison to many. But within his five pounds of Yorkshire terrier, there was more love, devotion, and frisky happiness than anyone could ever want or need. He wanted to please more than anything, and a single scolding word would send him into a devastated heap of remorse. And rarely were such words ever spoken to him.
I move around my house and “see” him curled in a ball in spots of sunshine.
I “hear” him bark to sounds only he could hear.
I hear the rattle of the little heart attached to his collar as he shakes his head.
And I am caught up short, with a pounding heart as I realize he is not there – he is not here. He is only in my memory that is still part of this world – this moment in time. He has not yet left me – although he is gone.
I wash his bedding and know that I am washing off a part of him. As he grew old, he would lick the fur on his polar fleece blanket. It seemed to comfort him as he curled up for his long morning and afternoon naps. Now it too is gone, like he is gone.
My rugs will be cleaned, and the spots removed; but then, what are spots in comparison to the joy of seeing him excitedly run to me, sitting up with paws in perfect precision, waiting for that treat he knew I would give him.
Did I betray your trust by taking you in for your last visit to the vet? Was I playing God?
Or had you been trying to tell me for weeks when you came and sat in front of me, looking into my soul with those steadfast eyes, that the end was here.
Whenever you came, sat, and simply stared at me without making a sound, it was always a signal that you wanted something. But when I went through the list of possibilities and none of them met your need, you slowly went back over to your blanket and lay down – and my heart would break. I didn’t want to accept the end was near.
Some might say, how can you mourn so much over a dog?
And I would reply, he wasn’t “just” a dog. He was my friend who gave unconditional love. He enjoyed being with me as I enjoyed being with him.
After the death of my husband when I would sit and quietly weep, he would rush in from another room and jump up on the sofa beside me, frantically licking away my tears, trying to tell me, “It’s okay. We have each other. Don’t cry anymore.” And it would make me smile as I reassured him I was okay.
Goodbye, my friend.
I will always remember the happy times we had together. I’ll remember when you came into our lives as a little black ball of fur fifteen and a half years ago.
You were a “Dickens” from the very beginning. You traveled everywhere with us and were happy as long as we were there with you.
You stood up to the giant stuffed black sheep I had in the house – the only time I heard you growl.
No dog or cat was too big for you to befriend and play with. And you raised many eyebrows of visitors when you ran into the room with your stuffed “humpy” bear.
Goodbye, my special little friend. Goodbye, Dickens. I can see you and Le Roy playing tug-o-war with an old t-shirt. Someday, I will join the two of you and there will be no tears to lick away.