Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sit, shake, and wait on me - I still miss you old friend

OK, let me post this for my own benefit. Get it out of the way. I originally published this on my MySpace blog 2 years ago. I can't believe its been 2 years since the posting much less FOUR years since I faced one of the toughest decisions I ever had to make.
December 18, 2006 (ed. note 2008) - 2 years (ed. note 4 years)? Are you kidding me? 730 days? (ed. note 1,460 days) No, it can't be. I know you are still on your mat in the garage curled up in a ball to greet me each morning as I head out to win the bread and bring home the bacon. I know you are there ready to uncurl, rise, stretch, yawn, and begin that incessant tail wagging and begging for a head scritch and a milk bone.
You are still asleep on the front-seat of my car. Seven weeks old, 5 pounds, curled up on a towel, grunting a bit as you sleep.
We're still walking the neighborhood streets. You, by my side with a loose leash hanging between us - maintaining a healthy, steady pace. In the early years, it was all I could do to keep up with you. In the later years, I had to whoa up my pace to allow you to continue. But side by side we were. Get the leash & wait on me. I'll walk you when I get there myself.

You are still sitting in that semi-circle with your buds from the neighborhood. All of you have your paw raised trying to shake my hand and get that next Milk Bone. The 5 of you make me feel like an orchestra conductor. As I raise my Milk Bone baton, you cellists raise your rosined paws.

We're still crashed in the front yard in May. I got the lawn cut earlier in the week, we got a good rain, and the clippings have settled. Now you are lying on your side, eyes closed, soaking up the rays through your thick black coat on a warm, cloud-free afternoon. And you make a great pillow. Not a lot on my "to do" list today. So I grab a cold one, settle it in the grass, pull my Preds hat down over my eyes, lay back and rest my head comfortably on your midsection. Eventually the beer gets warm but we are resting comfortably. I hope you still are.
But that's simply not the case. I'm still here, but you are not. The pain of not having you here is palpable. While I still have memories of almost 13 years with you, I also cry inwardly and outwardly from time to time as I think about you in those final moments on the vet's table. We looked in each other's eyes for what seemed an eternity. It was as if you were looking to me for answers, and yet all I had to offer in return was tears, crying, and a sniffling nose. I watched the glow of your eyes fade to a matte, reflection-less stare.

On December 18, I'll again lift my own nose in the air & wail hauntingly like you did when you heard a siren off in the distance.

I miss you terribly Winston. However, I believe heaven is such a grand and glorious place that I truly believe we'll run and romp together again someday…and this time it'll be for eternity.

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