Today, there was something missing as I drove up the driveway, walked up the stairs, went out to the garage. Your smiling eyes weren’t greeting me in the lane, there were no rocks rustling under the deck as you shuffled to get out to say hi, I got no face licks or nudges. You’ve been a huge part of my life for eleven years but today you’re no longer waiting for me when I get home, when I sit in the hammock, when I work in the garage. Today, there’s a huge void in my heart.
I’m so sorry I didn’t sit with you longer last night; I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it better. I hope you didn’t suffer long and I hope you’re not angry with me. I’m so sad to be home without you tonight. It’s so quiet around here, it feels wrong. Wanna remember with me? Wanna look at some pictures?
I took this one the day we got to the lake to go camping the year you were born. It was my birthday weekend and there was fireworks that night for Canada Day; you peed in the backseat of my cousin’s car while we drove you away because the fireworks scared you. (Don’t worry, I didn’t tell her until after she sold the car so she couldn’t get mad at you).
Remember in the old house when you and Baby Girls used to sleep in the blue room? You’d curl up in there with your Dad and lay on his belly while he watched TV.
When you wouldn’t sit still he’d kick you onto the floor and Baby Girls would follow so you had some company. Then you’d fall asleep together and I used to watch you both thinking how the two of you were so cute. I’d watch until I couldn’t stand it any longer and then I’d wake you up to cuddle with you and tell you how cute you were.
At our wedding when the two of you had no idea what was happening and we had to tie you up to the boat trailer so you’d stay put. You sat like the good dogs you were while we ran around all day having fun, waiting patiently to be taken off the leash and played with. You were so well-behaved.
And when we built our house and you and Baby Girls would do QC for me? You checked everything out! Remember the night when I stapled down the subfloor and you kept me company wheeling around all night with the air compressor running? You never laid down to sleep like Baby Girls, you were never as relaxed as she was. You just didn’t want to miss out.
Then at the old house when I wanted to take some pictures of you to frame and I couldn’t get you to stay put while I took them; you just would not sit still! All the shots I got of you were action shots. Something was always moving on you.
I was annoyed with you for not listening, for wanting to be a puppy! I wish I could take that back. You showed me though! When I got inside and got the pictures off the camera I saw how beautiful they were even if you were never still. I made these quotes with them and framed them. They’re still up in the new house today.
Remember when we’d go to the lake and you would pull me all the way across the campsite at top speed to get to the old boat launch? You were so excited to get in the water and swim! As the years went on, you stayed in there longer and longer and longer until one year you wouldn’t get out. Your Dad called and called but you just swam in circles and eventually we had to throw your stick further away from the launch because someone wanted to load their boat and you wouldn’t get out of the way.
And when we’d be out trying to sort cattle and Baby Girls would do everything perfectly and get the right cows out and in and you’d run along after her and mess up all her hard work? I can laugh about it now. I wish I could see it again.
You were the prettiest puppy. You had the most beautiful blue eyes and the most mischievous face. Your eyes eventually went a yellow-green but you were still the most beautiful puppy, they matched your fur. Everyone told us that you’d be crazy until you were at least 2, but you were crazy until the day you left me, Turkey. My Turkey Pants! I will never forget your personality.
Remember when we brought the daughters home from the hospital? You didn’t know what to think! But you never showed them anything but love, always letting them hang off your neck or try and ride you like a horse. They cried with me today too. They asked me to take you to heaven and I promised them I would.
Your kind eyes, your cold snout, the way you always had to have someone petting you all the time, your excited run, the never-ending love in your face. Those are all the things I will miss about you most. I won’t really miss you digging up my rock bed but now that I look at it all messed up, I miss kicking you out of there .
I’ll miss picking up all the bones you’d drag onto the lawn when I have to cut the grass. I’ll miss cleaning up the garbage bags you’ve ripped into when you know there’s chicken bones in them. I’ll miss that stinky slough smell on my hands every time I rubbed your belly. I’ll miss when I sit in the hammock and you want me to pet you so badly you rub me right out of it with your snout so I fall onto the grass.
I bet you’re saying to yourself, “why is she gonna miss all those bad dog things I did?” You know why I’ll miss all those things? Because you loved every bit of me every day for the last eleven years – EVEN MY FAULTS – and never batted an eye. You never judged me, you never criticized me, you never made me feel bad about myself, you were always there with a happy face and a kiss to lift me up when I was down. Because you did it all these years for me, it’s the least I can do for you.
Thank you for loving all of me me all these years, I owe you another apology because I didn’t always treat you like you treated me. I feel like I almost didn’t deserve you for a companion; I hope you can accept my apology.
I hope Heaven has a lot of hamburgers and deer bones, you love those. And maybe every now and then God could get you some leftover lasagne or a big fat pork chop. Or maybe they just make you lasagne up there since you’re the queen of your domain now. Drop me a line sometime and let me know how you are. And go find Baby Girls and tell her we REALLY miss her too. I hope you two can run down the lane together again, you were always so good at that. 42 km/hr was your fastest speed, try and top that!
Well Crazy, this is not the last of you, I know. I’ll see you in a few when I pick you up and I’m already thinking of something cool to do with you so we can see you everyday again.
I always used to bug your Dad about choosing the dog with the blue collar; I chose the one with the pink collar first and he trumped me and picked you out because your collar was blue and “blue was better than pink.” For a while, I used to wonder what happened to the dog with the pink collar but that didn’t last long because your Dad was right; blue WAS better than pink anyway. I wouldn’t trade these last eleven years for anything Casey, you’ve made my life so much greater.
Forever in my heart, forever on my mind. Casey, my love, it’s time for you to rest. XO, your family.