Dog Gone

He slid down the final three stairs, his four furry legs splayed beneath him.  He landed on the floor with a groan and a humph.  Poor Hickory!  My 12 year old golden retriever has lived a remarkably healthy, veterinarian-free life.  His only sickness now is his advancing age.  The last time he stood at the top of the stairs looking down the long wooden decline, he whimpered, shook and refused to give it a go.  Dan carried his 75 pound body down the stairs in what has since become known as “Hickory’s last stand.”It’s a privilege and a strange affair to watch a beloved creature’s entire lifespan.  Most of us will watch our children’s grand entrance into this world (but hopefully not witness their exit).  And likewise, most of us will experience our parent’s ‘goodbye’ though we never knew their ‘hello.’  But with a dear, sweet family pet, we have the opportunity to see the beginning and the end . . . a brief and poignant life.It seems like yesterday when I first saw Hickory as a newborn, squished with his sisters in a furry mosh pit of limbs, nippy teeth, and sweet smelling puppiness.  His first night in our home, my three young children and I slept in the kitchen, surrounding his crate with our sleeping bags.  We marveled at our newest family member.Now he is grey and slow, creaky and tentative.  I know that it is only a matter of time before he will enter the gates of doggy heaven.  And so I continue to watch him, assist him, and love him in his twilight years, grateful to know the full unfolding of such a gentle, loving soul.To receive Ashley’s weekly blog every Friday via email Click Here

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2 thoughts on “Dog Gone

  1. t33thman

    Wonderful jasmine, my late mutt, became depressed and despondent as her body wore out.
    At the vet’s office, she sensed something different was happening but accepted my will with her customary grace. After the pentothal was injected, she raised her head and perked up her ears and I believe she sensed the presence of her adoptive mother, Magic, who had passed 5yr earlier. After her body was stilled, the vet left me alone to depart through a private door and as I walked out with tears streaming down my face, I was compelled to sing the doloxogy, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below…”
    Blessings, Peter

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