THIS HAS BEEN A VERY LONG and very hard two weeks for me. Especially the last week. Especially Friday, Saturday, Sunday … and Monday.
Yeah, Monday was the pits.
I had to say good-bye to my fur-friend. The decision was made Friday, but I needed to somehow manage to make it through to Monday so my daughter could say her good-byes on Saturday.
I was struggling, trying to decide if it really was the “right time”. To do the right thing for her. Really, I’ve been struggling for months. I’ve really not been my cheerful self. Not really. And I apologise for being a grump—and a downer—now and then. The struggle was very real. Her symptoms would fluctuate, she’d rally … giving me hope—and I’d put off the inevitable. Then her symptoms would rear their collective ugly head again. I kept hoping she’d be better … but finally, I decided I needed to look at the whole thing through her eyes. I don’t think any time is right for this sort of thing … nope. Never. If only
they could talk to us and express their feeling in tangible ways. In ways we’d understand without a doubt. Without having to guess and second guess …
We’ve gone on lots of little walks—long walks were too exhausting. I took her to many of her old haunts so she could take in all the wonderful smells. We drove all over the place, revisiting places so she could try to catch air (literally) as we drove down the road … snapping at the air, lapping up the air then lolling her tongue and letting the air flap her lips in the breeze … making me giggle as I listened to all the different sounds coming from the back. I’ve seen it all in the side mirror. I couldn’t figure out how to capture it on
my camera without being fully distracted on the road … how I wish I could have.
For about fourteen years, I have loved my silly girl. She came to us somewhere before her second birthday. I loved her antics. Her energy. Her joy for life. I’ll cherish each and every one of them. Always underfoot … staking her claim on the couch, always shedding (she was part golden retriever and lab, after all), always giving. And getting into things she shouldn’t (actually, I think that’s part of what is ailing her
since it was a “new” behaviour she picked up about three years ago). The last couple years have been hard on her. The vet reminded me at the time that she was about 86 or so. She’s lived a full life.
My protector—from things real and imagined. The only thing she feared was thunder (and gunshots—yeah, we live in the country … and other loud, sudden noises) and those were the only times she needed me to soothe her. Yup … didn’t fear things she should either—like skunks (had to give her a tomato bath on two occasions …) Yup …
Otherwise, she was always giving “baths of love” … that’s what I call them—those slobbery never-ending kisses where you really need a towel ready when she finally decided she’s done; leaning on me for one more pet or brushing … exploring the yards for new smells, chewing on sticks or wanting one thrown for her to retrieve and … always guarding our home from things seen and unseen. Squirrel!
So, finally, I had to say farewell to Kaeli …
Good-bye my sweet little missy.
Jump for joy now that there’s no more pain.
Run long and hard … and savour every single moment joyfully.
Know that some day, I will join you. Some day.
Until then, go across the Rainbow Bridge, my sweet girl.
My Daddy and Sadie will be waiting for you.
Daddy will shower you with love until I can join you. Jim will be there too.
Cover all of them with slobbery “bath of love” kisses for me. Daddy will joyfully accept all you have to give … and then some. Jim will scritch that sweet spot behind your ear for as long as you like.
Prance in the flowers; chase butterflies. Take Jim, my Daddy and his sweet Sadie on long walks. Play fetch—and maybe you can return the ball or stick to them once in a while.
See if you can find Lucky—he will be your equal. His stamina, energy and love for life match yours beautifully.
He loves tug-of-war as much as you used to—perhaps more.
And Devon and Chelsea … my mischief makers.
They will be more than happy to play with you … oh, yes. They will tire you—yes, even you!
Lord JC Kristopher is there somewhere, too.
Look for a proud little tri-colour sheltie with a bounce in his step, one ear perky and the other floppy.
He’s a lover like you. Loves to shower his human with kisses. And play.
He loves to chase balls and frisbees too—probably even more than you.
And there is one more I’d like you to find.
I’m not sure what she is like now, but I’m sure she had more energy than we could see whilst she was sick.
She left us so soon. Way too soon. So look for a beautiful golden ball of fur—I don’t know how big or small (Daddy called her a Heinz 57)—but, surely full of life.
Her name is Cuddles. She’s probably embarrassed to have that name, but it’s all this then-eight year old could think of at the time.
She was so cuddly and I loved her dearly … as much as I love you, my sweet, sweet friend.
Be free of pain and live your new life with joy.
We will be back together one day.
To wander across fields of grasses and flowers together, climb hills, walk in the sand along the ebb and flow of the ocean, splash in streams together … and snuggle together—forever.
Until then, know I will always love you.
I’ll be back.