You are here, but not much longer.
Yesterday I found out you’re very sick. Cancer is killing you and we can’t stop it. I had no idea.
The last 10 years, you’ve been my companion, my counselor, my walking and hiking buddy. My snuggler when no one else wants to snuggle. The one with the deep brown eyes who stares into my soul.
I didn’t really want a dog. I wasn’t a “dog person.” I was a single 25 year old whose TV career was making me feel more vulnerable. I needed protection. I needed companionship. Even 2 years before I adopted you, I had poured over dozens and dozens of books at the bookstore, researching breeds. What looked intimidating but would be gentle with my future children? I narrowed it down to Bullmastiff. Daunting in form, gentle in nature. Fiercely Loyal.
I was hoping my first baby would get to know you. He is starting to observe you and reach out to you. He feeds you treats and you are gentle enough to take them from him.
But now you’re tired, and I know the time is soon.
I drove four hours to get you from the foster home. The Bullmastiff Rescue Association saved you from a kill shelter. You had a shaved back and huge scar from recent stitches. You flinched if someone waved anything over your head or approached you too quickly.
Someone had been cruel to you. I worked with you for months and months to help with the howling, the chewing, the pacing, the skittishness. I wanted to give up, but my mother encouraged me to stick with it. She said I wouldn’t regret loving you. She was right.
But you finally mellowed when I let you sleep in the bed. I was a sucker in those days. But you won my heart.
I love when you greet me at the door. I will miss your goofy personality.
I’ll even miss your snoring.
And the little muffled barking and running you do in your sleep when you’re having a great dream of playing with dogs or chasing rabbits.
I will miss your gentleness with puppies and small children.
I will miss your amazing intuitiveness and sensitivity to my moods… sad, sick, lonely, heartbroken.
I will miss how you licked my tears when I crumbled on the kitchen floor after my first big break up, how you would lay by my bed when I did not feel well and wouldn’t get up until I did.
I will miss the swirl of hair right behind your ears. The black beauty mark on your left cheek.
How you would bark at other dogs to get out of deep water, and at kids who got too high on the playground. You were protector.
I will miss your black mask and the beautiful, regal way you sit. Like the British way you were bred.
I will miss your patience, your stubbornness, your refusal to fetch anything. That was never your thing.
I will miss how you hogged the couch, and did it even when my husband hated it.
I will miss the way you loved and protected and comforted my children.
I will miss you Austin.
You made me a dog person.
You made me a compassionate person.
You made me a more loving person.
You made me a loved person.
May you go to a place with more meaty bones than you’ve ever dreamed of, friendly dogs to play with, miles of hiking trails and a lot of love.
Meet you there my friend.