Thursday, April 2, 2009

You finally did break my heart....


The UPS man arrived a few minutes ago with a small box containing your ashes. Funny, huh...he seemed to more sympathetic than most folks who hoped I'd soon forget about you, even though it's been a short two weeks and a couple of days. So the stranger in the khaki work shirt handed me the box and said "sorry, about your dog. I deliver a lot of these."

Although I had been waiting in the front yard with a sense of uneasiness for that box that signaled your arrival back home, when I opened up the box and put the urn on the table, everything seemed okay. I don't know whether it was the finality of it all, but there seems to be more peace in me now.

How we struggled through the winter, I'll never know. The irony was that I made the decision to release you on the first warm day of March, two days before St. Pat's day. I guess that I knew that the time was coming when you would be too tired and too confused to go on. I was hoping that you would do so on your own volition, but alas, once again I had to make a heart breaking decision.

So much of my life was consumed by caring for you for the last two years. We were both weary, you from living, and me from trying to help you live. Your release signifies a tremendous change in my life as you are the last dog that I'll ever have. Given my age and financial situation, it wouldn't be fair to take another dog into my heart. I've had the companionship of dogs for over 40 years. I think this change is going to be difficult for me.

You should know how terribly I miss and love you and those that have gone before you. At the grocery store I keep looking for things that you might enjoy eating. When I come home from school at night, I hurry up the steps to take you for a walk, but when I open the door there's nothing there. An easy chair occupies the space where your bed was for four years. Your bowls have been put away. Mr. Squeaky survived the winter (he was hiding under a snow bank) and now sits on the small table with your leash, collar and the paw print that they made at hospital.

The back seat of the car now is ready for people. The dog blanket is gone. Your seat belt is still attached and I don't know how to get it loose. Since you left, I don't go for rides in the car anymore. Strange, huh? We used to go almost every day. That was your favorite thing, until just before you left.

Wait for me at the Rainbow Bridge with Sam, Whiskas and Bandit. I'm sure that Sam was happy to see you again.

There have been so many transitions that I'm all out of poetry for this year. I know that you will understand. I do plan to find a nice smooth river stone and have it engraved with your name for a special place under the river birches.