My Whitney was here, and now she is not, we said our goodbyes this morning around eleven o’clock, and I am going to miss her. My heart hurts and my eyes are swollen from the tears, but I am at peace in knowing that she will no longer feel the pain that had laid claim on her back legs and she will no longer labor to breath in the frigid Wisconsin cold. I will somehow find a way to go to sleep tonight without the lull of her snoring as she lay alongside my bed, there will be no more 5:00 a.m. wake up calls with her cool wet nose pressing against my face telling me it is time to get up, there is a new day to conquer. It is eerily quiet as I type this, no clicking on the floor of her nails as she comes to find me to let her outside, or tell me that is time for her afternoon sustenance. There is no murmur of her breath as she lay beside my chair as I write this post, there is just silence, but there is also peace. Peace as I envision her running down the streets of gold in search of the nearest watering hole waiting for all of those who have preceded her to throw her ball for her, she will no longer feel the pain that suddenly seemed to wrack her body in recent days as she glides through the water.
As her heart began to slow the Doctor quickly grabbed my hand and lay it over the quivering parts of her body telling me that she is meeting God right now. I lay on the blanket of the floor in the Doctor’s office with her long after she had gone, her cheeks beginning to sink, so I get up and cover her body with the knitted blanket we lay on together and quietly leave the room, I don’t want to remember her that way. I want to remember the sweet girl who would strain at her leash and excitedly dance around when she saw the all too familiar swimming hole we would frequent dashing off the moment I unhooked her leash, I want to remember the girl who would romp through the woods with reckless abandon taking in all the smells, I want to remember the girl who would make a bed out of all the shoes in my closet or scatter my clean clothes around the house because I lazily left the laundry basket on the floor. Eventually her things will be put away and the dog hair vacuumed up and I will no longer have clothes laced with drool and dog schnoz. There will be no more mud prints to mop up after rainy days, and I will have to learn how to go on without her, but I will go on.
There will be a day when I will get to go for walks with her again, and throw her ball and pet her brillo pad fur. We will meet again someday, on the streets of the gold, with the music of angels, when we will no longer taste the harshness of the realities of this fallen world we live in. When it is time for me too to go home, I envision her sitting at the gates waiting for me with her tail wagging and a ball in her mouth excitedly running to greet me and show me all the places she has been running and swimming, and this time there will be no goodbyes.