My Dear Little Guy/Eddie, 8/29/15|
Born in 1998, you came into my life after a prayer for "a dog." That prayer having been in the process of abundantly being answered with Calvin and Sammy. It was early on a cool fall day, September of 1999 and I was walking Calvin up Lover's Lane Hill. The dew nestled on the blades of grass, and a misty fog encircled the top of the hill.
Out of the mist, taking a few steps toward the side of the road- was you. Long, slender, lean frame, from afar I thought I was spying on a deer. I drew closer, and you did not flee. I saw a long-legged, reddish furred with white patches on your chest and legs- doggie.
Perhaps it was the extreme gentleness of Calvin that kept you calm as you trudged along with us expectantly. Your ribs jutted out, telling a story of abandonment and starvation. I am reminded of that frailty, as I hold you today- ribs and pelvic bones appearing more each day as you say in quiet desperation, "I am in trouble," reminiscent of that day you found me.
You followed us, down the hill, around the bend all the way out to the busy road leading to my home. I decide to loop Calvin's leash through your tattered collar, so that you would not dart out and be hit by a car. Maybe you thought Calvin your savior, because from that day you so loved to be near him, you copied his fear of thunder and his love of chomping on rawhide bones, always enjoying to lay by his side. You were his best buddy, but you barely tolerated Sammy.
Now, I hear your breath, and I feel so rich. In a few short hours, your soft red fur and even softer white patches will be gone from my stroke. When you awake this morning, with a whimper, I lift you up in my arms. Your legs no longer struggle for the ground to help you stand, as your strength and effort are gone. I carry you outside, and with all the love in my heart, hold you while only a trickle of fluid leaves your body, heart pounding from being in a rare, upright position. I take you inside, wrapped in the towel that protected your bed, and I rock you in our cushioned chair. You instilled in me a love for little dogs that I had never had before. Remember all the times you were young, and I rocked you? You felt safe enough then in my arms, to drift off to sleep. Today you seem concerned, uncomfortable, but not so that you do not give me a few last kisses. My Little Guy, apple of Mommy's eye.
We must take you today- for you are no longer able to get up. When you do stand, you crumble and collapse, your body like a wet noodle. You can no longer raise yourself up on those locked, arthritic elbows so you can scan what's going on with those cloudy, unfocused eyes.
Before everyone stirs and I return you to your bed, I sing you our song, the one you always knew to bark to for then you would earn your treat for being "such a good singer." I quietly sing, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray, you'll never know dear how much I love you, please don't take my sunshine away." A hint of recognition comes over your face, and your ears and face soften as you look at me. The house stirs, puppies arise from slumber, and I get up and place you back on your bed, and leave for a few hours of work.
I asked your Daddy to take you in, I did not feel that I had the strength to be there at 2:30 when you go home. Tyler, whose room you slept in since the day it got too difficult to climb the stairs to ours, would be there with you as well. As it neared two o'clock I remembered blog pages I had read about having real love for a pet means you will be there with them when they need you the most- inside the sterile, frightening room in the Vet's office right before they go to their rest. I texted the boys that I would meet them there, then looked at my cell phone- you looked back at me from the wallpaper picture as with thankful relief in your tender, kind heart. It was 2:08 and on the radio came a Chris Tomlin song, "I will rise like eagle's wings, no more sorrow, no more pain, I will rise, when He calls my name, I will rise..." I knew I had made the right decision, to be with my friend whose heart over his lifetime had beat 788,400,000 beats of unconditional love. I would be there for the very last beat.
The room was hushed and the light dimmed casting a dusky shadow. You lay on your side on the brown furry paw printed blanket. I stood behind you, because when Sammy went home, it so hurt to look at his eyes. I could not look at your eyes turn into a blank gaze. So I looked into your eyes now, and you kissed me a few last times, as I told you what a good dog you are and that "I love you Little Guy." You lifted your head, then it seemed as you drifted off into sleep. The Vet said you were at peace, and left so we could stroke your soft reddish fur. It was natural and right, and we were all at peace. When God calls you to your friend's side, He will provide the peace and the strength as long as you have trust and faith in Him.
I still wake up with a fright, have doubts I took you too soon, I cry a lot because I see visions of you in every corner of my home. Me, who did not even want to give you a name, because I never wanted three dogs in my home. That's why Daddy called you "Little Guy." I am the one now, who misses you the most. You were so cordial and kind to me even when your whole body ached and you could hardly see my face with elderly eyes. Good Bye my little friend. Thank you for staying with me for so long my sunshine, thank you for loving me, I did not deserve that love, but you gave it to me anyway. Run now, bend those elbows, romp and leap on firm legs, be free and fly along as with eagles wings. No more sorrow, no more pain. I love you the most today and I will forever love you, love, your Mommy