Sunday, December 30, 2012

Letting Go.

This is a bit unusual for me; I normally post pretty little things for you, & don't write from the heart or from my journals here. But yesterday with my little family I unexpectedly had to put my dog down due to complications from cancer that overtook him in a matter of weeks. In tribute to one very wise, sweet dog soul - I wanted to share a few of my favorite snapshots of dogs I can't help to capture when I'm out & about. I can no longer walk past these lovely creatures due to my own wonderful boy who taught me to see dogs for the amazing creatures they are, love more freely, and to be a better dog owner - no...human...after having the privilege of knowing him for such a brief time.
My sweet boy Boden - one very happy 145lb. Bernese Mountain Dog who never did figure out he really wasn't the appropriate size for a lap dog. What you can't see here is that he is fully stretched out between my legs having his chest & belly rubbed. He was about 6 feet long when stretched out. I am 5'3" and about 105 pounds. Luckily he started out life much smaller & we grew up together in many ways. I forgive you boy for all those skinned knees & two broken fingers I suffered while we figured out how to go running together (years 1-3!)!
Boden's first snow as a puppy just coming to live with us. 
My regular photographer's French Poodle Coco that I was so lucky to visit at home one day.
I adore the days that she comes & hangs out with us at the photo studio. 
My favorite rescue dog & running buddy, Basil. My co-worker Nicole is a dog whisperer and has helped bring back two Australian Shepherds that were more or less written off as damaged goods.
Note to self: a little love & patience often goes a long, long way.
Photoshoot dogs...the homeowners often leave us for the day, but their furry companions usually aren't far away.  

I was trying to work, but just had to make time to throw the ball for our friend here. Over and over.
And over! Playing is the perfect stress relief when the shots aren't going as well as planned - dogs are smart.
What a lucky six-year-old this dog has.
He didn't take his eyes off her for a moment while she was romping in the river behind me.

As hard as it was to kiss Boden's nose & tell him I loved him, thank him for being such a good dog & friend one last time - it was time to let him go as I vaguely heard the veterinarian say something along the lines of internal bleeding, nothing more they could do. I think one of the hardest things I've had to do in my short life was to grab my daughter's hand as all she could choke out while holding onto a handful of fur was 'love you, love you' and lead her from the room while she couldn't contain her grief any longer. And leave my older son who was forcing the grief off to stay with his dog until the very last breath. I wanted to be there too, but knew that our boy knew, that I needed to be with his girl that wasn't quite grown up enough to stay with her brother to the bittersweet end. In fact, he nudged me toward her before I even realized it truly was time to go. My last memory is glancing behind me as I closed the door, only to catch a glimpse of a softly wagging tail signaling that he had loved us all, his family, too.

4 comments:

  1. oh gosh, i'm so sorry. i know how this feels.. my condolences.

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  2. I'm sitting here all teary eyed. I send a new year's cheers to Boden's good, long and happy life:O)

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  3. I feel your sorrow. I too lost a beloved dog, my Marvin, to cancer. I had to put him to sleep march 9, 2006. In the ride to the vet, he 'talked' to me the whole way and I believe he was reminiscing our life together and somehow reassuring me that I would be ok that he would never really be gone but would watch over me from elsewhere and most importantly he would be by my Mother's side and protect her from elsewhere where she went also from cancer a few years prior. Loving a dog is like no other love. You receive more than you give! My condolences to you. I also wish you all the best for 2013 and thank you for your lovely blog!

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  4. Thank you all for the lovely thoughts sent to me - so very much appreciated...

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