Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Dear Trouper, I love you and I miss you

Fifteen and one-half years. That's how old we think you were when we had to let you go. We rescued you from New England Border Collie Rescue in 1999. Were you a year old at the time? Older?

We lived in Guilford when you first came home, and you ran right into the brook and sloshed your way along in the water. A happy, silly dog. It's ironic that after you ran away last month we found you at the edge of a brook so close to home, exhausted and confused. Even at 15 1/2, with bad arthritis and weak legs, I somehow expected you to pull through. I never expected you to leave us five days later. You really were a Trouper. You were my Trouper, and letting you go was so hard but it was the right thing to do.

I could write 40 pages about you and our lives together. You were so very loved! And you gave so much love back! I'll start by saying that you lived a good, long life. I'm glad we could give you that; Almost 15 wonderful years filled with car rides, walks, playing in the yard with your dog siblings, and cuddles, lots of cuddles. You spent your days lounging on your human's beds and your nights snuggled against my chest, fast asleep in my arms. You were an expert cuddler, and you were so loving that I nicknamed you Casanova. You couldn't get enough attention from us! And it was easy to give it to you; such a handsome and loving boy, plopped on our laps even though you weighed 55 pounds - hardly a lap dog!

When you first joined the family, I took you for training and we were part of a class of about 25 dogs. You would sit patiently by my side, waiting for the next command (each of which, I might add, you perfected quickly and executed perfectly). At the end of each session the trainer would go around the circle, summarizing each pair - human and dog - and tell them what needed work. "You have to work on sit," "you have to work on down," etc., etc. How many times did she get to us and say "he's smarter than you and that will never change" and move on to the next pair? (She was right but it still wasn't nice!) You always anticipated my next move and, in synch, we moved through life complementing each other perfectly.

You did have a little bit of the devil in you, though. Remember when you first came home, ran into the kitchen and leaped up on the island? I couldn't stop laughing, staring at you, standing on the counter with that crazy tail wagging and a huge, happy grin, as if to say "d'ya like my new trick?" but you never did it again. You seemed to know it just wasn't where dogs belonged. Or, you got it out of your system. You kinda made your own decisions.

I have so many wonderful memories of life with you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to love you, and for loving us back. You made each day a little more interesting, a little more amusing, and a lot more fulfilling.

Now, you're at The Bridge and your pain is gone - only happiness fills your heart! Chester, Rudy, Max, and all the others who've gone before you will show you the way, and one day we'll all be reunited.

I love you, Casanova, and I can't stop missing you.

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