This isn’t the post everyone is expecting this morning. I promise to post part 2 of A Kind of Beginning later today. However, I need to take a moment to say good-bye to our beloved yellow Lab, Mack. After 14 1/2 years, he has moved on to dog heaven. A place where he can see and hear again, and run wild in tall grass. No leashes, no boundaries… just freedom. Any animal lover will tell you losing their pets is an excruciating loss. I expected it to be painful. And it is. But the hardest part is experiencing my children’s grief along with my husband’s and my own. They don’t remember life before Mack. He was a constant companion. A valued member of our family with a lively personality and a friendly manner that endeared him to everyone he met. Everyone who knew him had a Mack story. “Remember when he’d get so excited for you to toss the tennis ball? He’d race like the wind to retrieve it and then he’d lay on top of it. He wouldn’t give it back for anything. Worst retriever ever!” And in many ways he was.
He hated water. Hated it. he never went in our swimming pool unless he was coerced with a treat. He liked other dogs, but only to a point. And he wasn’t fond of loud noises. When he was done, he was done. He was persnickety about funny things, like his bed. For years he slept on the sofa, but he’d been trained not to jump on it until his red and white checked blanket was set on it first (to minimize shedding).He’d wait patiently for his blanket to appear at 9pm. Our friends would comment on our friendly dog wanting a pat on the head when in fact he wanted them to get the hell off his bed so he could get some sleep. LOLHe wasn’t perfect. He ate super balls, underwear and socks. He even ate a birthday cake before we’d served it one year. He dug incessantly in the garden and barked at passersby on the other side of our picket fence. And although he wasn’t the worst beggar ever, he made sure he got his fair share of any scraps that might fall, which meant he was always underfoot in the kitchen.
No he’s wasn’t perfect, but he was ours. He knew us well and loved us unconditionally. He wanted nothing more than our time and a chance to please us. It is a gift of friendship above and beyond what mere mortals are capable of giving. There is a gaping hole in our family that can’t be filled. It hasn’t been 24 hours yet, but we miss him terribly. And no doubt, we will for a long time to come.
Rest well, sweet boy. We love you. (Dec 6, 2001 – June 1, 2016)
“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed.
For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.”
― Charles M. Schulz