A Song for my Dog

You were a real trouble maker when you were little.  I can’t even tell you how many pairs of shoes you destroyed.  Then there was the time I came home to find you had shredded an entire Sunday tribune.  You hated being in your crate and followed me constantly.  I remember pulling you up onto my chest and the two of us napped as your puppy scent filled my heart.  I couldn’t stop looking at your crimped ears.

My favorite days are the long summer ones.  I think they are yours too.  We head out to the dog beach on Lake Michigan the sun glinting off the water.  Your whines betray your excitement and anticipation.  You can barely contain yourself and the minute we hit the sand you are off and running.  I have to admit that even though I act annoyed when you roll in the sand I still think it’s kind of cute.

I don’t know if you know this, but when you pant it looks as if you are smiling.  You have a clear and open heart and you have brought joy to many people in this world.  You have always been there for me when I can’t sleep.  Coming to crawl up in my lap as best you can and share the middle of the night banana that I have just peeled.  You are a foot warmer in the winter (and a bed hog too).  I am so proud that you are a member of our family and I’m sorry that I dress you up in stupid costumes.

I don’t think you’ve noticed but our family is about to get bigger!  Ever since we got you we’ve trained you to be our family dog.  Gentle and patient.  You accept all forms of love, even from poking and prodding toddler fingers.  I know you will be a great big brother.  So when the doctor that I’d never met before told me you had Cancer yesterday something inside me broke.  This is not how I had imagined it.  I thought we had more time.

So now I am waiting.  I am waiting for you to tell me that it is time for you to go.  I hope that I can be there with you.  I will fight to make sure that I am the last one you see so you can cross in peace.  I have prayed for someone to greet you on the other side so you will not be scared.  Don’t worry, I told them you like cheese and you need two cookies each night before bedtime.  I don’t know if they have any stuffed hedgehogs in Heaven, but I’m pretty sure they have a dog beach.

As I write this you are staring at me, wondering why I am so sad.  Joyful that I seem to be feeding you everything you want.  To you it will be a natural part of life.  To me it will be like losing a child and a best friend.  It will be a long time before my heart recovers from this fracture.  Someday I will be ready to accept a new doggie friend, so if you could make sure we get a good one I would appreciate it.  Oh, and one more thing.  When it’s my time, promise you’ll be there.  Running to me with your ears flapping in the wind.  Greeting me as I come home.

Categories: Uncategorized | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “A Song for my Dog

  1. Here I sit at my desk with tears streaming down my face. Because, you see, I’ve been in your place. I’ve had this conversation.Before Chloe, there was Jake. He was the boys’ dog—I might have fed him, walked him, made sure he got to the vet, but he was the boys’ dog. The hardest decision we ever made was to take him to the vet the last time.

    Trust me, your furry son will let you know when the time has come. Until then, love him.

  2. What a sweet face. I cannot imagine what it might be like to be faced with such terrible news about his health. I’m sorry to hear this, Katie. I hope that you can enjoy whatever time you have left together. He looks and sounds like a sweetheart.

  3. Oh Katie…I’m so sorry! What an emotional roller coaster you’ve been on lately. Trust your gut is some of the best advice I’ve gotten in situations like this and it was the best advice when I became a parent. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers. What a beautiful tribute this was to your friend!

  4. I love the way you love your dog. I am sad, crying for you. Thanks for the reminder that each moment is precious.

  5. I am so sorry about this terrible news. It is clear that your dog knows how much he is loved!

  6. Ah Katie, the sweetness of this post and all the love it contains is a thing of beauty. And that “one more thing”…that is what true love is all about, being there to come home for each other. I am thinking of you….

  7. Oh dear. I am crying for your sweet dog. Crying for your loss. I can imagine him coming to greet you when you go home. I wonder if there is sand in heaven. Praying for you.

  8. Ohhh, I am sorry for your pain…our pets are special aren’t they? I remember how sad I felt when our doggie died…poor girl…hope you get through this tough time ok! Thinking of you

  9. Saying good bye to a friend is so hard. I hope there is another dog on the other side of your grief.

  10. Saying good bye… yes, it’s so hard and I wonder if you will return to this post to offer you some support. I love the words and images in the construction of this post.
    Sending you my very best vibes…

  11. A beautiful tribute to a loyal friend. So sorry you must say goodbye for a time. I know you will remember the smile, and smile through tears…

  12. Oh, Katie. I’m so, so sorry to hear this news. I have tears rolling down my cheeks and my heart is breaking for you. I remember the poor tail incident. What an emotional roller coaster you have been on these last couple of weeks – and then everything is magnified when you are pregnant too! I don’t have the right words, but what a special slice savoring all the beauty and goodness and love that your eldest baby possess. I’ll be thinking of you often as you love him every bit more for the days to come.

  13. Tam

    I know, too, what you are going through. I am retired and would love another dog, but can’t bring myself to go through all of it for the 4th time. Nothing like a dog. Take care.

  14. Elsie

    My heart breaks as I read your words and cry for your loss. Cancer is evil, it takes those we love from us. Your post was so touching, I hope writing of the joyful times helped your heart. I’m so sorry.

  15. Judy C.

    Katie, I read this on Tuesday, but didn’t have time to comment (nor could I because of the tears), so I had to come back and tell you how sorry I am. We have lost two cats and our dog is getting older. It is never easy to lose a pet – they are a part of our family. Take care.

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