Our Little Dog died yesterday morning after more than a year of health problems. It’s been a couple of hard days.
Pets bring so much to our lives; they are certainly gifts God gives to humans. Our Buddy taught me lessons in his years with us. I wish I could be as forgiving as him, as loyal and faithful. I wonder if I will ever learn to love completely like he did or to be content with my own Master the way he was with me.
I will remember him and how he made our lives full.
When he was just a ball of white fluff cupped in my hands and I asked “Can we keep him?”
How puppy training was as much for me as it was for him.
How he chased the grandchildren down the hallway, running the length of the house. The children jumped on the bed to escape. And then they did it all over again.
Early morning routines when we were the first ones up and outdoors, the first ones to catch a glimpse of the sunrise. And the world was quiet.
Bath time, him all lathered up looking like a wet rat and shivering until I dried him and wrapped him in a blanket and we warmed up together.
How his big bark coming from such a small creature made me feel safe when Sweet William had to be gone for the night.
The way he loved road trips, long or short, and just the question “You ready to go?” brightened his eyes and sent him to the back door in anticipation.
That he always like our food more than his own. And nothing was better than sharing popcorn with Sweet William.
How his tummy had an internal clock that sent him to the dog dish at 5 pm every day. And if we weren’t paying attention then he would flip the metal bowl over until we understood.
How his eyes rolled up to look up at me when I was dressing for work. Those eyes asked, “So you’re leaving me again?”
The way he greeted me when I returned and always with such great joy.
How as he grew older, he was ready for bed even before Sweet William and me. And after snuggling in at the foot of the bed he raised his head to look at us at least once just to be sure we were still there.
When his health failed and allergies developed, how I dressed him in baby pajamas and socks to keep him from scratching. And he was just the cutest thing.
How he never backed down from a big dog and always went for their ankles.
That he loved us no matter what. That he forgave us every single time.
Recently I read something on Susie Davis’ blog about living, growing old and dying. She said,
“If our lives weren’t so exquisite, so beautiful, and if the people in our lives hadn’t mattered so terrifically, then this wouldn’t be so hard.”
Life is exquisite no matter the shape or size it takes. If our pets were not so exquisite, such gifts from God, if they didn’t teach us unconditional love and so many other attributes, if they didn’t matter so terrifically, then letting them go would not be so hard.
But they are exquisite, and they do matter terrifically. And it is hard to say good-bye. And I wonder who will greet me at the door now like I was the best thing since honey on a biscuit?
What would my life have been like without Little Dog? I cannot say. I only know that our days have been richer for having loved him and having been loved by him.