It was just 2 weeks ago that I was celebrating National Dog Day with my pooch, and now our dog, Buster, is gone. We had to make the toughest decision of our lives and send him to eternal rest. Health conditions were not improving, and we knew his quality of life was suffering. We know it was the right decision, but the pain and grief we are left with is just about unbearable.
I never thought I could cry so much that my eyes swelled shut, but I have. Even before he was gone, I was crying. We came home and started to gather his things and box them up because we couldn’t bear to look at them. We tried to get everything, but a few things pop up, like a stray piece of dog food, or the towel we used to dry him off after coming in from the rain. It all starts a brand new round of crying and sadness.
I had pictures of Buster developed and I put them around the house. We placed his ashes on a living room side table in a beautiful box. The living room was his favorite in the house. We talk about him and to him all the time. We are still adjusting our routines to life without him. It is so unbelievably hard.
We discuss all the good times, and what doggy heaven is like for him. No more pain, no more fatigue. A body like a puppy, strong and nimble. All the treats he wants, including cheese, which he loved, and no thunderstorms or fireworks, as they sent him running for a dark spot. A heaven where he is happy and healthy – that is what we imagine all the time.
We planted flowers for him in our yard – ones that will come up every year. A reminder of how he loved to be outside. The flowers are sun-loving, just like him. We said a little prayer after they were in the ground, and plan to tend to them often.
In times of sadness I usually write a poem. I’m not ready. So I found the one below that expresses exactly what we are thinking and feeling.
Until We Meet Again
Each morning when we awake
we know that you are gone.
And no one knows the heartache
As we try to carry on.
Our hearts still ache with sadness
and many tears still flow.
What it meant to lose you,
No one will ever know.
Our thoughts are always with you,
your place no one can fill.
In life we loved you dearly,
In death we love you still.
There will always be a heartache,
and often a silent tear,
But always a precious memory
Of the days when you were here.
If tears could make a staircase,
And heartaches make a lane,
We’d walk the path to heaven
And bring you home again.
We hold you close within our hearts,
And there you will remain,
To walk with us throughout our lives
Until we meet again.
Our family chain is broken now,
And nothing will be the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again.