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August 27, 2008

Almost 14 Years of Love and Devotion



I lost my sweet, beloved Sheltie Lacey to cancer today. Life had ceased to be a thing of joy and adventure and instead become full of lassitude and pain, so I elected to end her suffering and set her feet onto the Rainbow Bridge. I know she waits for me, happy and whole, and will be wondering what takes me so long.

She was my nurse dog, always first on the scene to investigate and treat any owies with a good licking and gentle nudging. For a long time she shared a pillow on my bed, keeping away nightmares, until arthritis made it too difficult to jump that high up. She was my intrepid adventurer, sneaking out of the fence on voyages of exploration, assisted by kind neighbors returning her home when they found my phone number on her collar. And she was my four-legged alarm system, alerting to any suspicious activity in a two-block area like it was her own personal front yard. Then too she would perform her duties as the welcome wagon at the vets as we waited our turn, going around the room to visit with everyone, two-legged or four.

She taught me patience, unconditional love, and the power of cheese. I will be lost without her. I have her collar in my purse and it will be going up around her picture- it still carries her scent. I got a few strands of her beautiful orange and white fur as a memento as well. But nothing takes the ache away, only time. This poem helps a bit, as well-

The Loss of a Heart-Dog

I stood by your bed last night,
I came to have a peep
I could see that you were crying,
you found it hard to sleep

I whined to you softly as
you brushed away a tear,
"it's me, I haven't left,
I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here"

I was close to you at breakfast,
I watched you pour the tea
You were thinking of the many times,
your hands reached down to me

I was with you at the shops today,
your arms were getting sore
I longed to take your parcels,
I wish you could do more

I was with you at my grave today,
you tend it with such care
I want to reassure you,
that I'm not lying there

I walked with you towards the house,
as you fumbled for your key
I gently put my paw on you,
I smiled and said "it's me"

You look so very tired,
and sank into a chair
I tried so hard to let you know,
that I was standing there

It's possible for me,
to be so near you everyday
To say to you with certainty,
"I never went away"

You sat there very quietly,
then smiled, I think you knew
In the stillness of that evening,
I was very close to you

The day is over,
I smile and watch you yawning
And say "goodnight, God bless,
I'll see you in the morning"

And when the time is right for you
to cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you
and we'll stand, side by side

I have so many things to show you,
there is so much for you to see
Be patient, live your journey out,
then come home to be with me.

- Author Unknown

That consoles me, that I will see her faithful soul running towards me again up there. It must be a wonderful place. Two things though I hope they got straight: dogs need to live as long as we humans do, and God needs to let dogs sit on the sofa in Heaven. It's much homier that way.


Robyn said...

Oh boy that poem has got me in tears but as you say it makes things easier to accept if you know they are nearby. I swear my Aggie plods down the passage daily, checking that nothing is out of place. She always went straight to anything that was new ..a picture on the wall or a vase of flowers. Thinking of you Lin and sending prayers.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lin, It's Mary Hicks. The poem you posted reminded me of a book that my kids had, and loved. It's entitled "Dog Heaven." Please see if you can find a copy. It will bring you much joy, laughter, and peace.

I'm still lovin' you, and am so honored to be part of this path on your journey. XO

Barb said...

Oh my. I know how you're feeling and there's nothing I can say to make it better. But Lacey was one lucky girl. This poem is beautiful and also brought tears to my eyes.

May the creator hold you and Smokey close and comfort you both tonight and always.



Becca said...

Oh,sweetie, I just read about Lacey; I'm so sorry. This is such a beautiful tribute to her. I'm crying with you and wish I could be there to hug you. I'll call you today. I love you.

Stephen Parrish said...

Losing a pet can be just as hard as losing a family member, at least for those of us who treat pets like family members. Lacey was gorgeous, and those eyes, my oh my, those eyes.

I hope you're right about the rainbow bridge, because I've got a critter or two waiting for me too.

Karen said...

Oh, Lin.
I'm so, so sorry.
I wish I had something wise and wonderful to say, but I don't.
Your ability to honor Lacey's life is a tribute to how strong you are.
I find that I can't bear to see pictures of beagles and I turn away when I see anyone walking their dog.
Maybe I should say that your ability to honor Lacey's life is a tribute to how strong your Faith is. And how well you remember to lean on that Faith when you need it most.
God bless you, Lin.
Much, much love to you,

iHanna said...

What a beautiful blog post and heartfelt sorrow. I had to cry when I read that poem, so very beautiful!

Take care my friend!

Sandra Evertson said...

She is beautiful, I know your loss and it takes some time to heal, sending good thoughts and well wishes to you...

needlewings said...

What a wonderful dog. It's hard to loose a pet you love and a best friend to you. I had a party spaniel and her name was Lacey Lady.

Cheryl @ Mandala Oasis said...

Oh my...where do I begin? Your story,and the love that is radiated fills me up with emotion, and heart smiles that you had such love to share with your sweet angel dog; and the photo and poem just opened the flood gates of my heart. I don't have a dog (not because I don't want one) but I do have a kitty - and I know that our pets are ideed our furry family members. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul.