I’d known her health was failing. When I last saw her in Chicago a little over a month ago, I noticed she was slower to get up now. She had been able to outrun all of us and was never too tired for some fun outside. We weren’t sure if she might be autistic because she rarely made eye contact and cuddling, well she could take it or leave it. One thing only made her happy…a tennis ball!
Over the weekend I got the call from my son. “I think it’s time, Mom.” I recognized that sadness from the many times I had cursed God for giving me the intelligence and responsibility of having to determine their life or death moment. And now, I felt not only sad for my sweet “Grand dog”, but for the loss of innocence facing this was bringing to my sweet child (well, always a child to his Mom). It was now his turn to feel that awesome responsibility that deep and abiding loving will bring to all brave and willing souls.
Many times when I lost my dogs, tears streaming down my cheeks, I would declare, “This is the last dog I am going to own.” The pain so deep that I felt I would die. Then, sometimes weeks and sometimes months later an unsuspecting me would pass a Golden on a hike and without knowing it, my heart would open and I knew I was willing to risk loving that deeply and unconditionally once again. I suspect his heart will open too. I raised them to know that love always gives more than it takes.
Our dogs are family and those “Grand dogs” are the best! We will all miss her. Time alone gives us the courage to love yet again.