Hero has been quite the busy boy! We have really enjoyed getting into therapy work and hosting various events. Hero connects with the kids at our church’s Breakaway program- a respite program for kids with special needs. He has … Continue reading →
We have been busy!! Therefore, we have not been good about posting. Here are the highlights of Maisy’s fall: September- Passed the Pet Partners evaluation and became an official therapy kitty! I sure showed those dogs a thing or two. … Continue reading →
7 years ago this afternoon, we said goodbye to Rusty. Rusty was less than two weeks away from his 16th birthday; pretty impressive for a dog over 90lbs. He ate well that morning (my Grandmom fed him lots of hamburger meat and treats). With help he was loaded in and out of the car, and he laid down on the vet table without protest. He lived with dignity and faced death the same way. He was a happy boy until the end; seemingly appreciative of even the smallest kindnesses.
Rusty was a great first pet. He was such a faithful friend and ever willing participant in shenanigans. He was loving and funny. He was understanding and good natured. He was everything you would expect from a Golden Retriever. (Hot spots and separation anxiety included.) Some of our favorite activities included running free at the school, agility, and exploring the woods. In college, I brought Rusty to my public speaking class to give a demonstration on how to train a dog. It was a great hit except for the smell. (It rained that day!)
On December 18th, at the appointed time, I sat down in front of a clock and waited. I was living hundreds of miles away and was forced to say goodbye to my buddy over the phone. (It was agonizing as I heard his nails clicking on the floor and I could picture how uncomfortable he was. He always hated the phone being held up to him.) A huge lump formed in my throat as I both realized the ridiculousness of the situation and also searched for the right words to say goodbye.
Seven years later, I have experienced profound losses, and have walked through unspeakable pain with loved ones. Even today I am in mourning for a dear friend. As I reflect back on the life of Rusty, I am so grateful for the good times and the love shared. To a greater degree, I am thankful for the people I still love deeply who are no longer around for me to share that with. If I have learned anything at all, it is this. Love. Love God and love others. Tell people. Even more, show them. Spend every ounce of energy and time on loving others. Right before my Grandmom passed she told me “in the end, love is all that matters”. The last thing my brother ever told me was “I love you”. My Dad used all his remaining strength to nod to me that he loved me (and our family). What I came up with to tell Rusty was “I love you”.
When all is said and done, the only thing that holds up is love. Today I remember Rusty. Today I remember love.