I’ll never forget bringing you home. Nobody in the family had ever seen a Bordeaux in person before you came home to us, other than me. I’d known the breed for almost two decades by then, and had wanted one for about as long. Everyone marvelled at how soft you were, “Like suede.” It was love at first sight, for all of us.
As you grew, so did your place in our hearts, our family, our lives. We laughed at your complete lack of guard dog ability, and relished how wonderful and loving you were. First Boo, then Cubby learned to stand while clinging to you. No need for a walking toy, they had you. You’d slowly inch your way across the room, a baby hanging on to your collar, giggling madly. If they fell, you stopped, and pressed your nose against them, anxious that they weren’t hurt.
You were generous with your love and attention. You would go upstairs at night, snooze with Tazzie and Princess. Once they were asleep, you’d clomp down the stairs to keep Wolf and I company while we watched TV, or curl up against my chair while I did some writing.
You’d disappear again, upstairs with Diva. Then down again, to sleep either in front of our bedroom door, or the babies. And when I was up with either of the boys, you’d come and sleep beside the couch.
For such a large dog, you had a way of making a surprising trip hazard. One of your favourite tricks was to lay down right behind someone, so that if they stepped backwards, they ran a serious risk of tripping over you.
I’ve never known a dog that adored being sprayed with the hose like you. Wading pools weren’t your thing, but a hose? You lost your mind with excitement. The best fun for you was to be involved in a water gun fight.
So many memories. And still, not enough.
It was so hard to say goodbye to you yesterday. So, so hard.
We knew it was the right thing to do. The vet told us, repeatedly, that it was the right thing. We knew it was, but oh, we so didn’t want to.
We hugged and petted and told you how much we loved you.
Finally, it was just you, me, and the vet.
I sat on the floor, your head on my knee.
And, true to your nature, you simply cuddled up, sighed, and passed.
The house is so quiet without you. You not being here is like an audible shock, this empty, gaping place that was yours, is yours, in our home, our family.
The babies you helped walk, who you stayed close to, are looking for you. Too young to understand that you won’t be home again.
Even though I know better, I keep expecting the weight of your head on my knee, pushing against me in a gentle demand for attention.
I know letting you go was the right thing, the only thing we could do. I know that.
The right thing hurts so damn much though.
Rest well, sweet girl.
We were so, so lucky to have had you in our lives.