The way you came into our lives was not the easiest situation to handle, and the way you left is most certainly the most painful I could have ever imagined. It’s hard to believe with such a sad beginning and end that you were able to pack that much fun in the middle.
You were the joy of every time I walked into our home. Your big smile and demand for a snuggle was so heartwarming. I especially love the way that you would wait on the top of the couch for me to put down my things and say hello to dad… and you would just wait there. Like a loyal little girl – knowing that eventually I would make my way to you and we would have the best hello. Because everything to you was the best: each day’s hello, each goodnight, all meals, car rides, walks, runs, pets, snuggles, games… all of it. You loved everything the 50th time as much as you did the first. And I never got over how much I loved that about you. Your daily enthusiasm was so endearing… just another way you were the strangest role model I could have ever expected: Your love of everything, big and small, important or insignificant. You brought joy wherever you went.
Thank you for forcing us into an active lifestyle. Your father and I joked around at least once a week how much you changed our lives for the better… how your need to exercise was the reason we went to the park every day, how it got us started running, how much we had to thank you for. We always knew you were a blessing to our lives, knew how much you bettered us. And I hope you know that each walk or run was a big thank you for your sometimes aggressive encouragement. I was so proud to have you with me as we ran…. You were so good and I was so excited for the day that I could go far enough and fast enough to tire you out. I don’t know if I would have ever gotten there – but I would have let you push me as far as my legs could carry me.
The worst part to me is that you might have thought we abandoned you. Or we were not proud of you… I hope you didn’t think that. I hope you know that we were proud and could not have loved you more. I hope you know that we were coming back for you… The only reason we sent you to that place was to keep you safe. To shelter you from the things that could hurt you. We knew we were going to be gone for a long time, and we wanted you to be in the best situation possible. We thought we were doing the right thing. I wanted you to learn to be comfortable with other dogs, so you could be happy, so you would not be afraid; I wanted to give you every opportunity to be as happy and relaxed as I am with you. You brought me so much joy: I wanted to make sure I gave you every opportunity to find it in your life. I thought that the trainers would be able to help you find that comfort.
I thought the challenge of learning something new would be so fun for you because you loved to work and to think. I could always see your little mind working… how to work your brother into a corner, how to find a squirrel up in a tree, how to get that last bit of stuffing out of the toy, and most importantly how to get us to toss that ball one more time. I didn’t want to change you little girl, I wanted to make sure you were happy. I wanted to give you the challenges that you loved and the peace of mind you deserved. But please know that I loved you just the way you were… and if you had come back to me the same or worse, I would have loved you more and more each day – as I had every day from the time I picked you up. I just wanted you to come back.
I can’t stand the fact that I didn’t get to say good bye to you. All I have left are the 2.5 years of wonderful memories and eventually a set of ashes. You deserved my hugs every day after work, you deserved the yard and the house we were building for you, and you deserved your dad’s “crik” during our morning coffee. You deserved all of the love we could have given you for the natural length of your life. And you deserved for us to be there with you, I am so sorry that I was not there with you.
Where ever you are, please know that I was going to see you today at 1:00. I was going to come and get you and see what you learned. I was going to hug and hold you so tight because I missed you so much. I was going to praise and love and snuggle you so much that even you would have needed some space. All of the pieces of my heart are broken in your absence. Our house is worse without you in it; our love is smaller without your presence. Your father and I will do whatever we can to honor your spirit each and every day of our lives. We will carry you with us during each walk, run, or adventure. And we will always be heartbroken that you are not there, smiling and furiously wagging that butt as fast as it can go in all directions.
The last thing that you gave to me was the understanding that I had everything that I wanted in this life. Even in your death you are teaching me and helping me grow as a person. You truly are a miracle that came and went too quickly. I guess that was your purpose: and like anything you set your mind to, you did it so well. We are better people for knowing you. I wish I could have you back, or do something to make your last days have been with me after a long life, but all I can do is honor your beautiful memory: I will remember each and every lesson you selflessly bestowed upon me. I will remember you not as a perfect dog, but as the dog that helped perfect our house, our love, and lives. You are the best little girl – please know and remember that – always. We love you baby girl… so much.
Mom and Dad