This morning the sun is peeking through the clouds, bathing the back yard in a sheen of gold. You are curled up asleep on the outdoor couch — and you just got up twenty minutes ago! But you had a very hard night, didn’t you sweetie? I could hear you toss and turn and rip through the yucky cover I taped over your bed all night long. My goodness, you made a mess! This morning we are both beat!
You look so angelic lying there. I view this golden cast to the sun as a gift from God. Remember, I told you about Him? Well, this light is nothing compared to HIS light.
Tomorrow, you will get to experience that light first-hand when we say good-bye for the last time. I don’t want you to be scared. Mommy and Daddy will be with you the whole time when we take you to Dr. Scott. He will give you lots of treats and will give you some medicine that you don’t even have to swallow. It will make you very sleepy, and that’s just fine. When you feel deliciously tired, just let your eyes drop and drift off to dreamland. When you wake up, you will be with God, your very creator, Himself! God made you and knows what a Good Boy you are! Since he made you he will fix all those parts in you that hurt and don’t work well anymore with just a blink of his eye and a pat on your head. I imagine he’s told the angels to ready a special place for you. Your Uncle Rich is there just waiting to get to pet your soft fur and wrap his arms around your neck. I’m sure he’ll throw the tennis ball for you, too, as much as you want. I know you are hurting and confused. I know it’s horrible to wake up from sleep to find messes all around you. Tomorrow, all that will go away. There will be no more pain for you, ever! No more grumbly tummy. No more stiff legs. No more having to fall down to get to a reclined position. You’ll be free to run like the wind again!
I’m going to miss you so much. This week has been so hard for us both. Yesterday I could barely stand to look outside because most of the time you just stood right outside the door. You barked at me and wanted to come in and see me. I went out to see you so we wouldn’t have too many indoor messes to clean up. (Now don’t worry about all the messes. I gladly cleaned every single one of them up because I love you. I wouldn’t trade the past twelve years with you for anything.)
Today we’ll spend the whole day with you. I know you’ll be so happy when we sit on that couch so you can snuggle again. I’ll read out loud — that always soothes you even though I’m not sure you can hear my voice anymore. And we’ll probably sing some and look at the birds and bunnies hanging out in the backyard. I’m going to hug your neck like I did last night. You can grumble all you want — I have to get in my Shiner hugs! I’ll sing my special song to you:
Who loves Shiner, who loves Shiner? Mommy does. Mommy does. Mommy loves Shiner, Mommy loves Shiner. Mommy loves. Shiner.”
You know I WILL cry. Twelve years ago, you comforted me when I was hysterical after learning my childhood kitty cat, Sassy, had gone on to heaven. She was mean to me, but I was still sad because I knew it would a long time before I saw her again. I was crying then, and you came and brought me all of your toys and then climbed in my lap. Do you remember doing that? Today you don’t play with toys anymore, but I’ll bring you a brand new bone to chew on. It will cheer me up to see you happy.
Two things make you happy these days: food, and snuggling. So I’m going to give you lots of both today.
Your daddy will be home tonight. He is anxious to see you and has missed you all week. You are his buddy, too. Uncle Blake will be here tonight, too. He used to be your wrestling partner in your younger days and still loves you very much. He wanted to come say goodbye. Be sure to give him a kiss, okay?
Your daddy wants to grill you a steak for breakfast tomorrow. Won’t that be yummy? All those times you’ve stood leaning against his legs while he grilled delicious things…most of the time he only gave you a bite of it, right? Tomorrow you can have the whole, juicy thing. And for dessert, I’m going to give you a (shhh, don’t tell anyone!) chocolate candy bar! You’ve always had a thing for chocolate…this time you can eat the whole bar without sneaking around with it. I’ll even put it in your bowl.
You have been the most loyal, faithful, loving doggy a girl could ever want. Thank you for being my friend for these past twelve years. I am already missing the doggy you used to be…but for today, I will cherish the doggy you are, warts, messes and all. I love you!
Shiner on the day we got him. He was just 8 weeks old: