Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And Then There Were Three

I had 3 dogs before I got married. That was all my city would allow me to have. Anyone who knows me knows I would have more if I could. It's strange to think that only 2 summers ago, we had 7 dogs here on the farm. 7 was AWESOME! 7 felt like my limit, like that was a good number to have around. Now I am back to three. Three in the city would be fine. 3 on the farm, just feels like there could be more.

And it just feels empty. It's just a reminder of what we have lost. Now, don't get me wrong. I have loved every one of my dogs with all of my heart. I love the three we still have. I still love the 3 we lost, and I love the one we fostered. Heck, I love just about every dog I meet!

But it's never easy to say goodbye. We had months to spend with Ditka and Grish. They weren't necessarily good months, we watched those dogs decline, knowing that their day was coming, and keeping them comfortable until the end. Cleaning up after them, feeding them soft food, carrying them outside when we needed to. We had months.

With Hobbes, I had a week. You are never ever prepared to say goodbye to a dog. NEVER. But a week, it feels like I was robbed. robbed of the 4 years I thought he had left. Robbed of the memories we should have shared. Now, my daughter will never remember him.

So last night, I shared a steak with him. We took him for a walk through the neighborhood. I snuggled with him on the bed, knowing it was the last time he would keep my feet warm at night. This morning, I took him for a long hike at Rabbit Mountain. It was a lot different than Ditka's last hike (which was the slowest walk I've ever been on). Then he came with me into town to run some errands, because he always liked car rides. We shared a pint of ice cream, and we sat out on the back porch, in the shade, just watching, and listening, and being together.

And then my favorite vet came over. And he fell asleep in my arms. He just quietly slipped away - nothing like how he came to me, all fireballs and lightning bolts. He didn't resist. He didn't question. Goliath sat near me for a while, to comfort me. And then we laid him to rest next to Grish. And now my bear is gone. As I shoveled the dirt into his grave, all I could think, when I tossed that last bit that covered his face and ears, was that I would never get to see him again. I still don't understand what that means. To never see Hobbes again. I just hope he knows how much I love him.


February 17, 1998 - August 25, 2010

Hobbes, with Ally. Singing along to something! Only Ally could get Hobbes to sing. Circa 2002

Hobbes sleeping with Puppy at a party at Larry's house. Circa 2004

Hobbes in full hiking gear, the Homestead Hike, 2006
Hobbes in full doggy happiness, after we moved to the farm, he thought we bought him his own dog park! 2007

Chewing on a bone in the front yard, 2009

Last night, watching the sun set one last time. Don't worry Hobbes, I am always with you in spirit. Wherever you go, I am always at your side. Because you were always at mine.
August 24, 2010