[I started this blog some time ago. I had decided to do a post about all the dogs we have loved and said goodbye to in our family, and how each one changed us.
But the list of goodbyes was so long, I started feeling sad, and I put this post into draft and left it alone. Tonight Stephanie and I were chatting, and I told her this. She said, "I know the partings are sad and I am teary about it right now, but what we have to remember is the funny things, the happy memories, the love they brought into our lives, and then it isnt so sad at all."
So I decided to dust off this draft and maybe even wing it into the blogosphere. Because, even though it is sad, it is a testament to our loving them -and they us - and the fact that we have been forever changed by having them in our lives.]
Loving dogs involves heartbreak. So when I was showing my daughter, Stephanie, my blog titled "The Dogs In My Heart" (July), and she asked, "What about Snoopy, don't forget Snoopy," I
realized there are a lot more dogs in our hearts than the ones we are presently living with. I decided to do another post about the many dogs we have loved and said goodbye to in our family.
Since Stephanie, myself and my sister are all avid dog lovers - and dog rescuers - the list is long. This blog will not be without tears. But those pawprints.........those dear loopy smiles.....how they changed us!
I am going all the way back. Above is a little black lab called Dinky, who was my buddy from earliest childhood. A more loyal, devoted little fellow you couldnt imagine. Above, we are outside our small farm, Twin Acres, in the Kelowna Mission. But not too long afterwards, the family moved to Vancouver, for better work opportunities for my dad. Dinky came with us. But he did not enjoy living in the city, on a busy street, with all the noise and the confinement. I remember kids would come up and down the lane, pointing toy guns at us and going "Bang, bang" and this made my dog nervous. He would growl and bark, trying to protect me from a perceived threat.
One day my mother told me, Dinky was going to have to go "away", because he might bite someone. A neighbor had complained. I went to school one day. When I came back, he was gone. I noticed my mom watching me carefully, likely watching for signs of grief. By then, with all that had happened in my short life, I was skilled at numbing myself to emotions that were too painful to be borne. I slid Dinky into the closed room where I kept the pain. But I felt guilty for years afterward, that I had never cried for him. (I'll cry for him now.)
I was sixteen before I had another dog. Tippy was a rescue, on her way to the SPCA if I didnt take her. I'm sure my mom didnt need one more creature to worry about and feed, but she said I could have her. I was a lonely teenager, and I remember lying on the floor doing my homework, Tippy lying beside me, my arm around her. One day, when I was walking her, she started running and playing with another dog. They suddenly darted into the road, and both were struck and killed by a passing police car. I was in shock as I watched the car hit, and her body fly in an arc off to the side of the road. The policeman took us to the vet. He came out of the back room and handed me Tippy's leash and collar.
My mom let me stay home from school the next day. I bless her for that; she knew how much it hurt.
I drove home that day with just her collar and leash, and laid them on the shelf. I had rescued Pup just a few months before this. Pup sniffed them delicately. He knew she was gone.
lay down alongside her grave and stood guard. He knew. His eyes understood the loss we were all feeling.
Before Steph and James moved to the country, Steph kept noticing this adorable little puppy tied to a tree in a yard not far from her place. Day after day she passed, the dog would be tangled around the tree, Steph would untangle her. There was never any water, never any food. The house was a known crack house.
So that's the list, folks. All these special creatures came into our lives and then were gone. We changed life for them, as most of them were rescues....and in turn they changed life for us.
This has been about dogs we have said goodbye to and, Pup still being alive, I have not told you much about him in this post. That post is coming and it will be the hardest goodbye of all. He is fourteen now, and his hind end is giving out. He sleeps flat out most of the time and there are times he seems to be having pain he cant tell me about. I am going to ask the vet for guidance soon.