This post was originally published on July 13, 2011 at The Raven’s Spell. I am republishing it today because this evening, my dear, sweet friend will breathe his last breath. The last couple years have become increasingly painful for Bear and my ex and his new family have determined it is time to end his [...]
This post was originally published on July 13, 2011 at The Raven’s Spell. I am republishing it today because this evening, my dear, sweet friend will breathe his last breath.
The last couple years have become increasingly painful for Bear and my ex and his new family have determined it is time to end his suffering. It is a decision I support completely, but it tears me up inside that I will not be there when he departs, and that I have not been there for the last 8 years.
I have seen the changes of age take over, noticed the new white fur consume his face, seen how slow he has become. However, he is still the softest thing on the planet and still allows me to bury my face deep into that luscious fur.
I will be forever grateful for having known this amazing soul.
When I separated from my now ex-husband, I left the family home for a two bedroom apartment. What this meant was leaving Bear, our 5 year old husky mix, behind.
I remember the day we went to pick out a dog to fill our new house. We ventured out to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa and wandered down the very sad aisles. We stopped at Mr. Magoo’s kennel, a Viszla who looked ready for a home. My ex’s family had Viszlas, so Mr. Magoo caught our eye, but we knew we just did not have the time to devote to a breed that would need a great deal of attention.
Then we saw Bear, a beautiful 8 month old. And I mean beautiful. We asked to take him into the meet-and-greet room. He instantly peed. Should have been a sign. But he was softer than a cat to the touch and I fell hard.
Of course, when we got him home he ripped the downspouts off the house to use as chew toys. And ripped through 3 sets of staples after his neuter. And learned to climb a fence of just about any height and run the neighborhood until some stranger would trap them in their car for us. Yes, those were fun times.
Yet, he was my puppy. My ex worked nights at the time and Bear made me feel safe and guarded (although he would have welcomed anyone who walked into the house with nothing more than a tail wag). He slept with me every night and his 75 lb self would curl up on the couch with me whenever I had a moment to sit down.
Leaving Bear was much harder than leaving my ex. I was moving to an apartment that did not allow dogs. In fact, there really weren’t any apartment complexes in town that would allow a dog of his size.
I always intended to some day share custody of him, but then we adopted Tia and Bear always thought cats were better dead and devoured.
It has been more than 6 years since I moved out and I miss Bear every single day. At one time he was still excited to see me, was still very much my puppy. But that time has passed. Now I am just another person who loves to feel the softness of his fur.
I see him at the door when I pick up Matthew and his eyelashes are now completely white and I know that he does not have many years left. I dread the day that my ex calls to say he has passed because I gave him up and walked out on him. But no matter what, he will always, always be my puppy.
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