Sharpy, your earthly presence was taken from me yesterday.
I couldn't put anything to words then, because it was one of the worst days
in my life. I was a wreck.
Little did I know, today would be even more terrible. When I got up this morning,
you were not there. You always waited for me on the small carpet just outside the
bedroom door, because you would get up and leave the bedroom to see mom off to work. When I came out, you
needed your pat on the head, even though with your wrinkled, squishy little face,
you squinted every time someone touched it!
I made my coffee, and headed to my office. You weren't one to follow my every
move, like some of your brothers. You
waited until you heard the office door, than you would mosey along in, look
around for a comfortable spot, and plop down. Today, for the first time, you did
not do that.
How can a home with 4 dogs seem so empty? How come when I walk in the door,
and roughly 275 pounds of dogs greet me and fight for position for physical
attention, it seems that there is a gaping hole? It is not because of any deficiency
on your brother's parts, I love them as much as I do you. However, there is an
aching empty spot.
In the house. In my heart. It hurts.
Yesterday, did I take you to your death? Did I save you from further suffering? I don't
know. All I know is that you are not here today.
Yesterday, we started off with a 'big' morning. We went to the little park by the airport for the
last time. I carried you out of the car. You stood on your own for a bit
(picture above standing in front of mom), took a
few steps around, but quickly tired. Then
I carried you to the other side of the park, so you could look at the water and
birds. You just laid down when we got there, but your nose was going, and so
were your little eyebrows (picture below with me). Those last days you could barely lift your head, so that's
how you looked around. Those 20 minutes or so wiped you out. So hard to believe
that just 4 days earlier, you and I went
to the same place to spend some one on one time, and you walked the whole way to
the water yourself.
Sure, I had to lift you back into the car afterwards, but you still had enough gas to go to
Lake Eola after that. More water, birds, people, dogs.... Blue sky, with puffy
clouds. Perfect day, as if it were planned just for you. You just laid there, but you were happy. I could see that
satisfied look on your face. You were with dad. Didn't matter
how much things hurt, or how much pain you had to endure, being with mom and dad
over-rode everything. You never complained, didn't even know how.
Yesterday, however, we continued along to the vet. You sat in my lap, and
rested your head in my arms in the car (you don't do that). I carried you in,
and you again just laid on the floor, rested your head on your own arm. Even the dogs around you couldn't energize
you enough to get you up to sniff.
Time was our enemy. Time was not fair. I hated the clock. We were already
late to our appointment; yet all I wanted to do was be even later, or turn around, grab you, and run
as fast as I could. But I had to show at least half the courage that you did. It was a
fearsome struggle internally for me. For people, their life is what they make of it.
For my four legged friend, your life is what I make of it. It is an awesome
responsibility, for which I try my best.
I know you had an idea of what 'good night' meant. Frequently at home, at the end of
the night, when I shut off all the lights and the TV, with you guys all
scattered on the floor around our bed, we would do that 'Walton's' thing... "Good night
Sharpy, good night Otto, good night Chipper, good night Little Dog".. That's
why there, in that room, I kept repeating 'Good Night Sharpy. Sleep Tite.
Nite-Nite". You looked
around by moving your little eyebrows. I felt then that you looked at me to say
"thanks for letting me go to sleep Dad, I really don't feel good, and I'm sooo
I was holding your head, and cradled it when it fell to
rest for the very last time. I'm so sorry that at that instant, I momentarily lost my composure. My most
important quest that day was to be there to try to comfort you. I could not hold
it, I was weak. I'm sorry. I
hope you only heard my words of praise and comfort, and not my fleeting
I consciously did not say goodbye. Whatever you may have thought that meant,
I knew that it wasn't the case. It was not goodbye. You will always be with me.
You own a piece of my heart and soul. What made you Sharpy, is not gone, and never will
be. One of the most loving, gentle, low
key, kind, giving, enthusiastic, friendly, polite, non-demanding, hearts to ever grace a life.
You didn't beg. You barely barked (except at people dressed in animal costumes,
or ferrets!). What is gone is your physical presence. Your snores. Your snorts. Your
big toes, and 'all your feet'! Your squishy little, sometimes frothy, face. Your wagging tail. Our
walks. Our times hanging out. Chasing you around the house, or being chased. Holding a bone or hoof for you to chew. Our visits
to friends. Our trips to fairs and parks and parades (you could visit anyone at anytime, and
not cause a problem). And, you were not affectionately called Stinky for nothing! I will painfully miss all that, and so much more.
I sincerely hope you know you will never be, because you can never
be, replaced. Mom and
will continue to try to brighten the lives of loving hearts like yourself, that
people discard like some kind of possession. I think the reason you were at the
pound was because your previous family was moving, or some similar pathetic
logic. While I normally get mad at people who are so insensitive and stupid, in
your case, I was
not mad at all. Obviously your first 'family' got what they deserve, they lost out BIG
time by losing you. And sure I'm being selfish, but guess who won! ME!!
In your honor (you'd have been proud), at the end of the day yesterday, mom
and I went to the Orlando Humane Society, which is of course where we were lucky
enough to find you almost four years ago. We bought a LARGE bag of treats, and gave
everybody one. We had so many left, we went through again, to pass out seconds. While
this is not unusual for us, and in fact is what we were doing when we 'lucked' upon you, it never
before held so much importance. We made a bunch of your little friends smile. That made us smile, on a day that we didn't have much other reason
to. We know, whenever we smiled, you were happy.
I only hope we brought half the goodness and pleasure into your short life as you
have into ours. Enjoy your time playing and frolicking this side of the
Bridge. Someday we will be reunited. Until then, I'll Be Missing You.
I love you, and will always treasure you.
Good night, Sharpy.
(our last morning together)