I chose to have you are my sunshine at your residence, London, because I remember always singing it to you. I wanted to start to focus on all of the good memories that we shared rather than the final painful memories. When we decided to get you as a puppy, our hearts were still a little broken from losing Ashley after 6 years. She was our first family dog and we had her for such a short period of time. After we lost her, it was difficult to not have a dog in the house. I remember the day we picked you up. We knew we wanted another female golden retriever and you were one of the only puppies left in the litter. I didn't know it at the time, but you may have been considered the "runt" of the litter. The funny this is, you were the complete opposite. All of those people that passed you up didn't know what a great dog they passed up on. Their loss was our gain. On our way home from picking you up, I carried you in my arms and you fell asleep on my lap on the ride home. From that day forward, I was forever changed.|
When you were still a puppy, you had sooooo much energy, I kept thinking to myself "I can't wait until she's older and she calms down a little!" I should have never wished those years away. I know that when you were younger and I was still in high school I wasn't as attentive as I could have been. I've always regretted that. I was so caught up in my own world and life that I never focused on quality time between us like I did when you were older. I wish I hadn't been so selfish. Nonetheless, I always loved you so much. You were always this quirky dog who did weird things like run in circles (or the Indy 500 as I called it) when you were really excited or pull up your lips and "snarl" when you were approaching me even though you had no evil attentions, you just never knew how to contain your excitement. It makes sense that you are our dog because our family has always been somewhat quirky and here you were, just part of the family. I love that about you.
As I got older and less self absorbed, you became the center of my universe. It really started when I had my internship and I was seeing you every day instead of being away at college. Ever since then, I have dreaded being away from you for more than a couple of days. And even if I was only gone for a couple of days, I always requested that someone at home send me pictures of you because I missed you so much. You may have thought at times "why did she leave me? did i do something wrong?" But you never left my thoughts. You still never leave my thoughts. While I was away from Mark that semester, you became the love of my life and I began to give him "daily London digests" of you just being a silly little girl. When Mark and I started dating, he was never the biggest fan of dogs. He had a dog when he was little but after that the only exposure he had to dogs was from his friends dogs and I guess they never left a great impression. But as soon as he met you, you changed his outlook. Not only did he begin to love you as much as I do, but you fell in love with him as well. I used to always joke that you loved him more than me because I would walk in a room and you two would being cuddling on the floor. You never willingly wanted to cuddle me! But I loved it nonetheless.
My last year at Purdue was so hard for me not only because all of my friends had graduated from school but because I hated being away from you. Every time I left home to go back to school, you would be watching me leave from the window at the front of my house and I would burst into tears while I was driving away. You were the light of my life. After I graduated, I had those 6 months at home before I started work where I was just home studying for the CPA exam every day. That was OUR time. We would go on our walks, take our daily naps together where you would sleep by my side of the bed and I loved every minute of it. I missed our naps when I started work. This was also the time we found out that you had developed arthritis. I was scared because we found out when you were 6 years old and when I didn't know what it was yet, I was afraid that we were going to lose you at the same age that we lost Ashley. After that diagnosis, I took your health seriously. We did our daily walks and watched what you ate because the best way to prevent your arthritis from getting worse was by maintaining your weight. I know you probably thought I was no fun because I never let anyone give you treats, but I just wanted to keep you with me for as long as possible.
We've had so many fun memories over the past couple of years. Going to the dog park on your 8th birthday and swimming and then coming home and putting your pink birthday hat on while we sang happy birthday to you and gave you a special doggie birthday treat. I wanted to make your 8th birthday the best birthday ever because I knew you were getting older and I wanted to make sure I had a good birthday celebration for you before you left me. I had no idea that you would be gone in the same year. We also did the Mutt Strutt at the speedway for the first time and it was so fun. You made it all the way around the track in the summer heat and never showed signs of slowing down even though I'm sure you were beat. They had those little kiddie pools set up so that the dogs could walk in them and cool off and you wanted to walk through every doggie pool to cool your paws off. You were such a CHAMP that day. We also did bark at the park for the Indians baseball game and sat in the grass with all of the other dogs and their owners. This was also the same time where you had your first taste of ice cream and LOVED IT. I knew it was bad for you but I loved watching you gobble it up and how much you enjoyed it. At the end of the summer, when the water park was closing and all dogs were invited I knew it was another adventure I wanted to do with you. You never were exposed to water that much, so you were unsure about swimming and got tired really quickly but I just wanted to see my baby doggy paddle. And that you did. Mark went in the water with you and you were not okay with all of the dogs following you around but you swam around a little until you were too tired. I loved that day. I also knew I wanted you in our engagement photos because you were so much a part of Mark and I's relationship. I love that I will have those photos with you forever.
Not only will I miss making all of those great memories with you, I will miss all of the cute little things you would do on a daily basis. How you thought it was okay to follow people into the bathroom when they were using it so that they would pet you while they went to the bathroom. You would always push the door open with your nose and poke your head in until we finally said okay you can come in. When we were going for our walks, you would hop around and do your bark (which wasn't even a bark. It was your growl and then a very short bark). Also that you felt it necessary to sniff EVERY SINGLE MAILBOX when we were walking. You also loved when we'd be on our walks and the mailman would still be out and he would stop his truck to give you a treat. That was so nice of him. Whenever anyone ate anything, you put your head on our lap hoping we would give you something, even though we never would. I never got tired of that. When we ate at the table and you would force your way under our feet and sit at the bottom of the table in what looked like the most uncomfortable positions. You also loved looking out the windows to see what was going on. And when I would leave for work in the mornings, you would watch me drive away with your little golden head in the window. And when I got home, there you were at the door waiting for me, mostly to feed you. I also loved that when I held up my finger to you to signal that I would be right back, you knew exactly what I meant and stayed right where you were, just waiting for me. You are so smart.
It has been 1 year that you have been at the Rainbow Bridge now and I felt it was necessary to write on here and update your picture and some of the items at your Residency. I need to get you all settled so you are comfortable! I added some good toys and treats that reminded me of our time together here on Earth. Your pillow and blanket that you always slept on, your rope toy, a brush because you loved brushing time. I hope it reminds you of me and makes you smile on our time together sweetie. It feels like a lot in my life has changed since you've left, but my feelings towards you and missing you haven't changed one bit. I only hope that you still recognize me when you are looking down on me sweetie. I think I did a pretty good job of documenting all of our wonderful memories shared and what I loved about you above, so I won't add anything else to that. I just want to make sure you know how much you mean to me and how all I look forward to is being reunited with you again. That will be the best day ever. I hope that your first year at the Rainbow Bridge has been wonderful. I know you have made a lot of great friends up there whose Mom's and Dad's have helped me down here while I have been grieving. When I think of you being happy up there, I imagine you with your friends running around and playing, laying out in a field in the sun somewhere, sleeping on a couch and eating and drinking to your heart's content. I know that you are happy where you are and that you are better off now. But that doesn't take away from the stinging heartache I feel every single day without you. I don't say that to make you feel guilty or sad for me. I have accepted that this will be what I feel every day until we are reunited again. It is the price we pay for loving so deeply. I wouldn't trade that for anything. I love you so much Londy. You are my sunshine, my soulmate, the love of my life, my other half. That will never change.