It is with much sadness that I viewed the following status message below from Corinne, an old and dear friend and neighbor. I have talked about her several times before on Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck, and her work with Sophia’s Grace Foundation, which is a nationwide network of volunteers, whose goal is to save the lives of needy dachshunds that suffer from major health complications. Yesterday Corinne lost her best friend and constant companion Jake, a lovable senior dachshund who I had the pleasure of dog walking many years ago. He was always such a sweet and lovable dog, even when he chose to be difficult. (Jake could make me walk for half an hour and still refuse to do his business; he always wanted to wait for Mommy.) Corinne’s message to her beloved child struck me as a statement to what “owning” a pet is all about. It is not about ownership, it is about living for and with an animal as an equal. It is something that should never be entered into half-heartedly, because the animals we love and raise deserve our entire heart. I hope the following words from Corinne make you snuggle your little ones a little closer tonight, reminding you that every moment with them is truly a special gift.
Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck
“Mommy’s farewell tribute to Jake: Where do I begin, my angel? I will be 48 years old this Friday and you have been with me for over 1/3 of my entire existence on this earth. You had me at “hello” the first time I saw you zooming around on that pet store floor (mommy knows better now, but I have no regrets about your roots). You were my constant companion and faithful and loyal boy through thick and through thin. You have been with me through so many joyful times, as well as sorrowful ones too. You have been my nursemaid through sickness and surgery, and I have been yours. We have vacationed together and hiked hundreds, if not thousands, of miles together over the years. You entertained me with all your antics and frustrated me at times with your stubborn doxie ways, but ALWAYS, ALWAYS the one constant you gave me was pure unconditional love and joy. It was difficult to finally wrap my head around the fact that you were finally becoming a “senior” when you got a little past 15 years. My old Jake started to fade a bit. You got slower, your vision started to diminish and you did not crave the long walks that we always enjoyed so well together. I mourned the loss of the “old” Jake but loved you still as fiercely as ever. I began not to go away on vacation because I would trust no one to care for you but Daddy or me. You got quirky in your ways and required a little more patience and I was so afraid another caregiver would not understand. I know you have not been well for a while now and have been a very stoic little boy about it. My biggest fear has always been that I could not bear to have to make the “decision” to let you go and I prayed to God many times that when the time came to please spare me that particular heartache. And you loved your Mommy so very much that you granted me that one final gift in the end. You rebounded a bit so I could feel the joy of the old Jake, but all along you knew you were tired and ready to go Heaven. Although I was not there, I thank you for your final gift in taking that dreadful decision out of my hands. While I will cry every day for many days to come and my life will NEVER be the same without you I am going to work hard toward accepting that you are at Peace and you are whole, with clear vision, limber limbs and no more pain. I hope you have finally found your way to my Daddy, I know how much you loved him and he loved you. He will take good care of you until I see you again. Until then I will try to live a life that my proud warrior boy with the heart of a lion would be proud of. I love you and miss you more than any words could ever express. Run free with all the Angels until we meet again. All my love, your FOREVER MOMMY”
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