I’m warning you now: this post is going to be mostly pictures. Of my dogs. Because I don’t really know what to say. And I can’t promise there won’t be tears. But you will get to see an old picture of me with braces…so that’s fun.
Meet Patches and Rookie. Aka The Boys.
And here’s that lovely braces picture I mentioned…I’m hoping you will overlook them for how adorable the puppies are! (ps that’s my younger sister Cassie. If you ever say we look alike…we will both disagree with you). We were supposed to just pick out one new puppy. But I was having trouble deciding. And like any good parent, Dad broke down and said “ok, ok…let’s just get two”. Look how cute they are!! I just want to squeeze them.
That was 13 years ago. They started out as barn dogs and spent their days chasing chickens, staring at the cows through the fence, and playing ball. We attempted to show them at the fair one year (yes, we were in both 4H and FFA) but that didn’t end well. The boys as we called them just weren’t cut out for being paraded around on leashes. Oh well…at least they were lovable and cute.
Fast forward a few years. Mom and Dad sold the farm-house we grew up in and moved into “town” (I put that in parentheses because the town has 3,000 people in it). Nonetheless, they no longer had a barn and huge yard to run around in and they both acted like this was their retirement. They started taking road trips with the parentals to help build their new cabin, snoozed by the pool, and even began to convince everyone to let them inside. It was a bold move, but it worked.
For awhile Patches (mine) was having a lot of joint pain and trouble getting up. We were pretty worried about him, but after getting him on some arthritis medicine he seems to be doing much better (besides being deaf as a doorknob). Rookie (my sister’s) however, started to have seizures. One of our previous dogs was epileptic, but my parents said this was different. They couldn’t figure out what was the trigger. He had blood work done (yes…we’re that pathetic) and everything came back fine. The next step was an MRI (no…we’re not that pathetic) but given his age, even if they had found a brain tumor we wouldn’t have done a surgery. No MRI. So the vet prescribed some medication and that seemed to help for the time being.
My mom warned us a few nights that she was worried about Rookie, afraid he might not make it through the night. But he always did! His seizures even improved for a little while. But eventually they started coming back more and more frequently and he just wasn’t himself anymore. He would be so weak afterwards and so confused to his surroundings. Selfishly I’m glad I wasn’t at home to see him like that.
You never want to get a text from your parents that starts out “Hi baby, I hate to text you this because I know you’re at work…”
On Sunday my parents decided it was Rookie’s time. Thankfully we live in a small town and know the vet personally. He came out to the house and put Rookie to sleep in his favorite place surrounded by his favorite people.
Losing a pet is hard. Really hard. They become a part of your family! 13 years Rookie was with us. We’ve been trying to remember the good times…like how he was afraid of bubbles and hated riding in the back of the pick up (yep…he got teased a lot). He also loved empty milk jugs and would just throw them up in the air and chase them through the yard. And he loved everyone’s attention. We are all really going to miss him.
I saw this poem online the morning before I found out he was gone. It was hard to read then and even harder to read now. But I think there is a reason I stumbled across it. Like God knew I would need to hear it. I don’t know who it’s by, and I don’t know where it is from. But I hope beyond hope that it is true.
Tomorrow I head to Portland to meet Kelly, and I’m very excited for a little vacation and break from reality. It’s definitely needed right now. Wishing you all lots of puppy hugs and kisses,
By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.
For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow they cross over one day.
No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.
They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.
For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.