I’ve been contemplating what to blog about all day. I’m going thru so many changes in my life right now that it’s hard to narrow it down sometimes.
Then I got a text from my mom (she thought I was in session with my therapist, that’s why she sent a text rather than calling me). She told me that Charlie, one of their dogs, was with my dad on their way to put Charlie to sleep. Since my session had been changed for earlier in the day, I called my mom to find out what had happened. Charlie is up there in age and has been having difficulty walking lately. He had good days and bad days, but the bad seemed to be coming more frequently than the good. Last weekend he had what we assumed to be a seizure or a stroke. My dad was going to take him in then, but the next day Charlie seemed himself again. Until today…
Mom told me that he had several episodes again today and that it was just horrible. As terribly heart wrenching as it is, they had to make the decision to bring him in. They couldn’t let him go on like this. My mom was telling me this through tears. I can only imagine that my dad is a complete mess as well.
I am sad that I didn’t get to see him this weekend before he went to his final resting place, but I am very thankful that I was able to see him and spend time with him last weekend. Charlie and I have gotten pretty close over the last several months. My mom broke her leg severely and has been laid up for the last 6 months, so I have spent significant time at my parent’s house, which has allowed Charlie and I to bond more. He’s truly a precious little sweetie.
He wasn’t a big fan of having his picture taken, but he’s really very photogenic. My parent’s have another dog as well, his name is Harley. He was mine, but when I moved to my apartment I couldn’t have him so they very generously took him in for me. Both Harley and Charlie have had quite a comfy spoiled life. I have no idea how Harley is going to handle the loss of his brother. They did everything together. They took care of each other.
They weren’t only brothers, they were best friends.
Losing a loved one is never easy (Yes, I am one of those people who consider pets family). We know when we go and pick them up from the pet store or humane society or wherever you happen to find your newest furry family member, that the chances are pretty good we are going to have to lay them to rest before our own journey is over. In a human lifetime, how many pets do pet owners have? More often than not it is multiple, right? We bring them home, we fall in love with them, we play with them, we take care of them and they take care of us. We form an unbreakable bond with them and them with us. All the while knowing that someday this family member, this best friend, will have to leave us. It is an excruciatingly painful process to have to go through, but we choose to do it time and time again.
Why do we, pet lovers, continue to put ourselves through this kind of pain and loss every couple of decades?
Love. Happiness. Laughter. Comfort. Security. Companionship. Purpose. Loyalty. We put ourselves through this heartache time and time again because they give us these gifts and they give them unconditionally. They give these things so freely, so purely, so wholeheartedly.
I am honored to have received these gifts from my K9 brother Charlie. He was so affectionate and eager to please, even on his bad days.
Charlie, I’m not sure what Harley is going to do without you. Who will he steal treats from? How will he know when potty time is done if you aren’t there to pee in the exact same spot as him when he is finished? Who is going to bark in my face when I get there until I remember to give treats? What are Mom, Dad, and Harley going to do without you? You are going to be missed, there is no doubt about that. You were a wonderful friend to all of us. Gone but not forgotten. You will live on in our thoughts, memories, and hearts. I love you buddy, sleep well.