Life has been hectic and busy. A number of things have been going on in my life and some I hope to write about.
This post was written about 3 weeks ago when our Lab was put down due to failing health. It was a very painful decision that took two weeks to decide, although we have known for some months before that the day was getting close.
I did not post it at the time as it was too painful and my grief over her loss was too great. I still get teary just thinking about Jenny, but it is getting better. I mean, how do you not grieve over the loss of a much loved member of your family.
So it is that I am finally able to post this in honor of Jenny. She is still loved and greatly missed. Thanks for your understanding and allowing this dog lover to open her heart a little with words.
It is raw, painful and hard. Saying good bye to a much loved companion of over 13 years. Yes, Jenny, our beautiful, sweet, yellow Labrador Retriever. I use her full breed title, so often calling her a Lab, but for today she deserves the entire thing.
One sometimes wonders how do you come to the decision to put a dog down? Do we try to hang onto them for our sake or is it merciful to let them go before they are in too much pain. So often we know in our heart that the time has come but we can’t let go. We need one more day or week or hopefully a month with them. We hope against hope that they will improve and maybe, just maybe we will get another year of their time. It may seem selfish, but it is love that won’t let them go until it is all too clear that the time has come. So it was with Jenny.
Jenny was the second of the two Labs that we had. She was sweet and beautiful. Actually, she was one of the prettiest yellow labs I have ever seen. She came from good breeding, hunting stock, but we just loved her as a family pet. We seldom took her with us where people did not stop and comment on her looks. She had beautiful confirmation for a Lab. No skinny tail, the perfect height and those eyes that could melt any heart. And her ears. I loved her ears. Soft as velvet.
She knew tricks. She could bark at a command of the hand, twirl, sit, “high 5” and lay down. All taught to her by her actual owner, my daughter Claire. They were a pair. Jenny sleeping with Claire on her bed from a pup, taking up most of the full size bed that Claire slept in when she lived at home.
She loved to play ball and every Christmas Claire would buy and wrap presents for her, putting them under the tree. For years she would get a new collar and squeak toys for it was a holiday for the dogs too. They were part of our family.
I know that one day we, as a family, will be able to look back and talk about Jenny and her funny ways. Her little quirks, her sweet nature and how much we miss her. But, for now, it is only through tears that we can speak her name.
I only hope that she knew, in some way, how much we loved her and will miss her. She enriched our lives in a way nothing else could. Other dogs will come into our lives but there will never be one that can take her place. She was one of a kind.
So it is with great difficulty that we said our farewell and pray that one day we will see her again in heaven, tail wagging, no arthritis and a healthy body. That is how I want to remember her. Just as she was when I would look out the windows on the back of our house and see her, swimming, all alone in the pool, that I am sure she believed was built just for her.
And, just as merciful as God is, I remembered this morning that last night in Texas there was a rainbow at about the time of Jenny’s passing in California. Yes, God was taking care of you, sweet Jenny, and giving me a sign again, that all was going to be okay. For not one sparrow falls without His knowing.
Jenny, I will forever miss you, sweet girl. I’ll see you again, in heaven.