Faithful Friend

20 May

My heart aches this morning.

I really hate death. It just hurts too much.

Yesterday afternoon, our elderly dog, Junior, died. Now, I am not comparing his death to other losses I’ve experienced. The deaths of loved ones are definitely not the same as the death of a pet. But, death still hurts. It always does.

My husband found Junior, laying in the yard. It is as if he had just laid down, the last moments of his life winding down…until he just stopped.

We were just getting ready to leave the house for evening choir and church services, when my husband, from across the yard, answered my question, “Is he dead?” He solemnly nodded as I ran across the yard, tears streaming down my face.

Yes, he was about fourteen and a half years old. Yes, I know he was old, and yes I knew he wouldn’t be with us much longer.

But, none of that mattered. Not at that moment.

I met Junior when I married my husband in 2005. He was about seven years old then. A brindle colored mutt. Maybe some sort of bird dog/boxer mix? He liked to walk with me through the years, even after his aging joints made walking difficult and painful. He always had a lick for everyone and would bark with excitement when the family drove up the driveway. Our collie, Ace, will miss his friend. I’m sure he will be lonely without his buddy.

The last year and a half of Junior’s life was a struggle. I faithfully gave him his glucosimine and chondroitin every day for his arthritic joints, picked him up when the steps to the deck got to be too much, and slowly walked him over to the barn on the coldest of winter days, where he could snuggle in the hay with barn kitty.

Grief is the price one pays for loving someone, or in this case, loving a dear pet.

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4 Responses to “Faithful Friend”

  1. prinsesangmunti May 20, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    Your dog is such a cutie and I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope you’re alright, and don’t worry, we all know junior is happy, and that he’s in a safe and peaceful place now.

  2. Steven Sawyer May 20, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    Dearest Dawn,
    I am so so sorry for your loss. I’m grieving with you. I’m choking back tears as I write you. I know EXACTLY how much Junior meant to you. We lost our beloved “Bo” four years ago. He was a rescue german shepherd we got from the humane shelter when I could hold all of him in the palm of my hand. He was our beloved family member for 14 1/2 years. We had to put him down four years ago. I can count the times on one hand I have “wept” in my life. The day we took Bo to the vet to have him put to sleep was one of them. I still miss him. We’ve had Velvet for five years now and I call her Bo almost as much as I call her Velvet. Here’s a link to the blog I wrote about Bo, but you may not be ready to read it now. If not, that’s okay. Just know that I know the depth of your grief and I know how much you will miss Junior. May God richly bless you.
    http://stevensawyer.wordpress.com/2010/04/12/our-sweet-dog-bo/

    • gibsongirl247 May 21, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

      I left a comment on your post. I would have loved to meet Bo!

  3. Terry Gibson May 21, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    I’m sorry for you and Scott [and Bradley and Kendrick and Brianna.] I will be praying for you all.

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