I always wondered how I would feel when the time came. I suspected its arrival at anytime over the last 3 years now, and now its here. My life long friend and companion has passed away. Yeah, so she was just a dog, but a darn good one, and they don’t call them man’s best friend for no reason. I once saw people on tv dramatically crying and going through therapy after their pet died, and I wondered how much I would be affected by the death of my own close pet companion. Well I am pretty sure I’m not about to go through any sort of emotional crisis, and really, my day to day life here in Idaho won’t even be affected, but I am still fairly saddened. When I first heard the news, I didn’t know what to think or how to react. It was weird, rather than just responding, it was like I had to think about what to do. Am I supposed to cry? not care that much? Whats the proper/normal response to a pet death? All that kind of rushed through my head that instant and I kind of just didn't do anything. Maybe it was just the shock of it. Eventually, after thinking about the memories and her death a bunch, I have gotten a few lumps in my throat and have shed a tear or two. To be any less effected would almost just seem cold and inhuman. After all, I grew up with that dog, and she was the only constant friend I had since the 4th grade. My next trip home won’t be warmly welcomed by a smelly loving dog excited to see me, yet too lazy to get up knowing full well that I am gonna come to her. And she won’t be there to give me that look asking if I was feeling just so generous as to take her for a ride in the truck on our way to the park or for a swim at the beach.
And oh the memories the two of us have shared. All the hikes at the back bay or the river jetti from way back when, and the trips to the lake at the park, or dog beach. Each time her wanting to swim till death if we only allowed her, and not stopping until every floating piece of anything was taken out of the water. Then there was the time she got all her fur wrapped up in burs in Arizona and it looked like she had curlers all over, and we all spent hours getting them out, even with her help. And how we used to play hide and seek, or even just hiding treats for her to seek out and find. All the tricks she knew were grand as well, and was so smart in learning them.
Then there are all the odd things she had about her that were quite funny such as her own pet rock that she took with her everywhere and wrestled with it all hours of the day and pushed it around across the front yard. Then there was the stuffed animal monkey who she liked at first but then became terrified of after it slapped her in the face and starting laughing at her. She always had her favorite spot in the house that she would never leave, like the old stair landing where she could see everyone in the house. She always knew all the rules so well, but how to ever so slowly break them to keep us from noticing until we just didn’t care any more. And her lovely howling/singing anytime a siren passed by (the neighbors weren't quite as enthusiastic about that unfortunately).
Sure sometimes I got really mad at her, like all the times she chewed up so many things of mine, but now they are all items to remember her by. I'm gonna miss that dog, but we still have Jack around, and at least we know all dogs go to Heaven.
To end this I will leave you with the lyrics of a song about the friendship dogs can bring and the adventures that are shared:
"Bron-y-aur Stomp" by Led Zeppelin
Ah caught you smiling at me,
That's the way it should be,
Like a leaf is to a tree, so fine.
Ah all the good times we had,
I sang love songs so glad
Always smiling, never sad, so fine.
As we walk down the country lanes,
I'll be singing a song,
Hear me calling your name.
Hear the wind within the trees,
Telling Mother Nature 'bout you and me.
Well if the sun shines so bright,
Or on our way it's darkest night
The road we choose is always right, so fine.
Ah can your love be so strong
When so many loves go wrong
Will our love go on and on and on and on and on and on?
My, my la de la come on now it ain't too far,
Tell your friends all around the world,
Ain't no companion like a blue eyed merle.
Come on now well let me tell you,
What you're missing, missing, 'round them brick walls.
So of one thing I am sure,
It's a friendship so pure,
Angels singing all around
My dog is so fine.
Yeah, ain't but one thing to do
Spend my nat'ral life with you,
You're the finest dog I knew, so fine.
When you're old and your eyes are dim,
There ain't no old Shep gonna happen again,
We'll still go walking down country lanes,
I'll sing the same old songs,
Hear me call your name.