Saying goodbye to our golden boy...

Saying goodbye to our golden boy...

It's never easy to say goodbye, but I know you would want it this way, so we have made the call. Today will be the last day we get to scratch your ears, kiss your nose, hear your pant, and see your sweet face. 

Your first night home, daddy tried to crate train you. He tells me he had big plans to have you follow some house rules, but when you cried for just a short time he caved and put you in bed with him; and that is where you stayed. 

He named you Murphy, meaning Sea Warrior, which suits you perfectly because you grew up on the river and loved the water. Daddy tells me of a time when you were a puppy riding along in our flats boat with him. You two approached the bridge and you looked up to see the cars pass by, losing your balance and falling into the river. He scooped you up and from then on you had learned how to ride the bow of the boat, paws secure, leaning into the salty wind with your ears flapping wildly. 

Your favorite activity was always chasing fish on the sandbar. You'd hop all over like a bunny making daddy and I laugh hysterically. It wasn't often you'd catch one, although I think it was more about the hunt anyway. After a long day playing you'd lay on the patio to dry with a huge grin. There hasn't been many days like that around here lately, as your playing has slowed along with your body. 

Every holiday we would wrap a seasonal handkerchief around your neck to celebrate. Birthdays we would all load up in the car and go get frozen yogurt together. You loved ham on Easter but were never a fan of any vegetables. You rarely walked on a leash as you never had any reason to leave our side. Not often did you get into trouble, and so we always called you our "golden boy."

I don't believe you ever imagined daddy getting married, let alone give you two little sisters to protect and love. I know these last few years have brought you the greatest joy; attending our wedding, and guarding your new siblings with pride. Your heart must be so full, with having had a toddler to climb on you, extra snacks to share, and bath toys to steal. These memories we will forever cherish, and I know you will too. 

Daddy and I have struggled with the decision to say goodbye for a while now. We have tried different foods, medicines, and have now resorted to carrying you outside to potty and hand feeding you food and water. I know it's not how you want to live... we just don't want to let you go. We are so physically conflicted, as our minds know what we have to do, but our hearts are struggling to do just that. There have been moments when you seemed to get better, but we know there's no eluding old age. We want to believe we can hang on to you, but know you need us to let you go. 

We believe in the circle of life. Less than two years ago your Pomeranian brother Mickey left us, only two weeks after your sister Dakota was born. And today your youngest sister Wyatt is just four weeks old. It's as if God timed it perfectly, knowing we would need extra newborn cuddles and a distraction to help us cope with the pain of losing our fur babies. You escorted them both into this life; with wet kisses and a wagging tail, and now we all get to love on you on your way out. 

We know in our hearts that hanging on to you now would only be selfish. Your mind is alert but your body has given up. Your eyes don't shine as bright as they once did; it's as if you are telling us that it's time... that you'll be okay and so will we. There are moments we get angry that God hasn't taken you already. We trust there is a lesson in all of this, and that one day we will meet Him and it will finally all make sense. 

Until we see you again, we want to THANK YOU for being such a good dog. You've brought us so much laughter, comfort, and security these past 12 years. You've taught us to care for something other than ourselves, and view the world from a set of understanding and compassionate eyes. We have learned to be more patient and forgiving because of you, and are by far better parents to our daughters because of those life lessons. By no mistake is it that dog is God spelled backwards. He lent us you, and now we must return you back to your forever home.  

There will be tons of fish to hunt in heaven, with a crystal clear, blue incoming tide to splash in and a bright orange sunset at your back. Your three doggie brothers await your arrival as I'm sure they've missed you so, and I'll even bet you'll get all the scoobie snacks you've ever dreamt of along with many other delightful treats to enjoy.

As I finish writing this, I look outside and the rain begins to fall. A gray day resembling the gray heaviness inside our hearts today. Forecast calls for a week of gloomy rain... I imagine it being much longer for us. My anxiety increases, as my watch shows we only have a few hours left by your side. I know it'll never feel like we had enough time; enough kisses, enough boat rides or enough of anything together. We still somehow clutch to you and try and make sense of it all; try to turn back the clock, try to kiss you more or hug you tighter in hopes for some sort of peace or closure, but nothing can shake us from the void that is to come. 

Maybe that's a part of the plan too... for you to leave us wanting more, so that we can reunite later with plenty to talk about and loads to do together. Momma, daddy, and your sisters know we will see you again, that's for certain. We look forward to starting where we left off, and filling you in on anything you've missed in the meantime. Until then, keep being our golden boy in Heaven. 

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#Voices Project

#Voices Project

Column Series on Addiction

Column Series on Addiction