I've tried and failed to write this post multiple times now. I'm just not quite sure how to say goodbye to you, though I've known it's been coming for far too long now. As I write, I watch you hobble around the house--mostly blind, deaf, confused and barely able to walk. It's been such a slow progression that I've been in denial about how bad you've deteriorated over the last year. I've just been angry. Angry at the constant messes we've had to clean up, angry that you started biting (both us and Gavin), angry that you won't give in to death on your own...just...angry.
But then I ran across some old photos of you this week--the happy, playful, youthful you that plopped into our lives eight years ago and the anger is gone, replaced by an overwhelming sadness that this really is the end. You're so far gone that there's just a shell of you left now. The light that filled your eyes in those pictures is gone and has been for some time. It just took me a while to accept it.
Though you've always been our "old man dog," I don't want to remember you that way. It's the silly, frisky, unconditionally lovable stories that I want to come to mind when I think of you. Like the story of how we "dogsat" you over a weekend and I ended up falling so in love with you that I couldn't bear to let you go. Or the many, MANY nights one of us (mostly Ryan) slept with you on the floor because you were so afraid of thunderstorms that you ripped the house apart in fear. Or the dozens of times somebody asked us what breed you were and we said, "we're not sure" (we never did figure that one out). Or how you became a "guard dog" when Gavin was born, constantly laying next to him. The trips to DQ because you loved ice cream, the tricks you so excellently performed, the way you kept Daisy on the sidewalk during walks, the cuddles, the kisses, your scaredy-cat howl, and a thousand more little things I love about you.
So today, when we take you to the vet and say goodbye...it's those things I'm going to remember. Thanks for bringing our family so much joy. My favorite, my bub, my silly old man...I'll miss you.
|Very excited for Christmas treats at the old house!|
|Best buds--Daisy and Abner looking out the front door of the old house.|
|So playful. He loved it when his toy would get stuck under the counter.|
|All worn out from playing too hard.|
|Cuddled up on the couch.|
|Transforming into the guard dog once Gavin arrived.|
|Hiding out (or looking for scraps) under Gavin's high chair.|
|Our "old man" in his old age.|