"Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really."
~ Agnes Sligh Turnbull
He wandered up to our house from the woods almost 11 years ago, a not-so-small puppy with crooked ears and a face so black you could barely see his eyes. We never found out where he came from, but within days, we didn't care. We knew he belonged with us.
His timing was just right; he brought Charly-dog back to life after the death of his brother, Chewy, and distracted me as my eldest prepared to head off to college.
Max was an angel, straight from heaven. I truly believe that.
But I guess angels can't live forever on earth, at least not when they take on mortal bodies. Max's finally wore out, and his beautiful spirit took flight yesterday as we whispered See-you-later and Thank-you and I-love-you-Max.
I spent the last few hours of his life beside him in the laundry room, working on my laptop, reading, and at times just sitting silently on the floor, watching him, petting him, remembering...
He would have tried to hang on, no telling how long - his devotion was so strong. But any doubts about our decision were squelched with one glance at him. He was nothing but fur and bones. He wouldn't eat and could no longer stand, much less walk.
He went downhill fast and I knew there wouldn't be another rally.
I'm grateful to our wonderful veterinarian and her assistant who braved the rough road to our house to ease my sweet Max into the next world, where I'm certain Charly welcomed him and he's no longer limited by that old, lame, beloved body, but able to run and pounce and play like he used to.
When my legs grew too weak to carry me, And my tired eyes could no longer see,
When it pained me to struggle for each new breath,
When my heart beat weaker, and I drew closer to death,
You did me the kindness of letting me go.
You didn't make me hang on when I was suffering so.
I promise I don't think that you loved me any less,
And I love you all the more for your selflessness.
You freed my spirit from its body so wracked with pain,
And let me run the fields of Heaven, where I'm sure we'll meet again.
nor speak of me with tears,
but laugh and talk of me
as if I were beside you…
I loved you so –
‘twas Heaven here with you.
Isla Paschal Richardson
"You think dogs will not be in heaven?
I tell you, they will be there long before any of us."
~ Robert Louis Stevenson
“It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog that comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be a dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they.”