It never is very easy, is it.
Tonight we sent our faithful dog Omaha on to his next journey. Under the shade of the maple out back by the gardens, with a clean, brushed coat and a belly full of meatballs, we hugged him and kissed him and cried into his fur as he laid his head to sleep in our hands. Words can't express the appreciation I have for our family vet (who has really become more family than vet) who guided us through our dog's care to the end. He sent Omaha on his way tonight, saying "alright buddy, go exploring."
Far be it for me to try to add to the sayings of how deeply a dog's companionship can shape our lives. Omaha was the first dog that was mine, coming home with me a small pup thirteen summers ago. I am grateful for the adventures and travels we shared, the stories to be remembered, his pups that carry on his likeness. What I am perhaps most grateful for is the lessons he taught me about love and patience.
He was a part of my life long before babies and a husband entered the scene, but he met his growing family (and diminished attention) with joy. Omaha taught us patience in parenting. When the little ones taunted him and pulled at the paws of this large dog who had to be muzzled and held down just to trim his nails, he never so much as growled at them. He would calmly turn away, often licking them affectionately like a litter of rowdy pups.
If this dog, who shared no blood ties and knew no words to communicate with these babes could receive them so patiently, then surely I as their parent could model the same.
It was peaceful and calm, this ending of his, though it still leaves a hole that I'm told will mend. So long, Omaha. Hope the exploring is good.
- ▼ June (9)