Who knew the journey we would go on starting just one year ago today. Our Shooter-Bug would have celebrated his one year ampuversary today, but fate had other ideas and instead it is his 5 month angelversary. It doesn’t seem possible, yet our lives have changed so much in those five months. Of course he is missed everyday and one of the other dogs get called Shooter at least once a week and even the horses on occasion. It is quieter as he was quite the chatter box and never learned what an inside voice was, but that was fine with us. Gone are the area rugs and the multitude of drugs on the kitchen counter. The elevated dish has been put aside (but kept in case it is needed again). We haven’t been to the Vet’s office since just after he died and I am dreading that first visit in February for annual check-ups – I can barely look at the clinic when we drive by. I sometimes feel guilty for being glad I no longer see my vet twice a week as I would do it again if I had to, but it is good to have a normal life back and less bills. I hope that doesn’t make me a bad person and I’d like to think Shooter would understand. I’m pretty sure he didn’t like going either! It wasn’t the life of a Tripawd that was hard – that was the easy part after the first few days as Shooter became a champion Tripawd immediately, but the cancer sucked! We think of him in happier terms now. The stairs to the bed have been officially named “Shooter’s Stairs” and all the dogs now use them so they have become a permanent fixture. I pulled out one of his favorite food toys the other day (stick the kibbles in the ball and roll it around so the kibble falls out). He was a pro at that and would go so fast the other dogs would just follow along and pick up the pieces he missed and he picked up the knack of it in about 10 seconds. Not so much for everyone else – we had to keep rolling it for them! It really made me realize what a smart boy he was and how much the others relied on him. We currently have no plans on bringing another dog into the mix unless our old friend “fate” intervenes. This is actually unusual for me as puppies always seem to help ease the pain of transition. I guess, in way too many words, I am saying that life has kept moving on and that warm spot in my heart that is “Shooter” is tucked away in a less painful place with more smiles than tears.
On his birthday I promised to share a poem I found and have included a scrap book page I did of Shooter about 10 years ago. The poem is for everyone, but especially for those of us that survived July, August and September together as way too many of our furry kids crossed over those three months. Thanks again, for the millionth time, for everyone at tripawds.com. You are all angels. And, yes, you will need Kleenex.
THE SPIRIT OF A DOG
I was standing on a hillside
In a field of blowing wheat,
And the spirit of a dog
Was lying at my feet.
He looked at me with kind dark eyes,
Ancient wisdom shining through.
In the essence of his being,
I saw the love there too.
His mind did lock upon my heart
As I stood there on that day,
And he told me of this story
About a place so far away.
As I stood upon that hillside
In a field of blowing wheat,
Ina twinkling of a second
His spirit left my feet.
His tale did put my heart at east,
All my fears did fade away
About what lay ahead of me
On another distant day.
“I live among God’s creatures now
In the heavens of your mind
So do not grieve for me, my friend
As I am with my kind.
My collar is a rainbow’s hue,
My leash is a shooting star.
My boundaries are the Milky Way
Where I sparkle from afar.
There are no pens or kennels here
For I am not confined,
But I’m free to roam God’s heavens
Among the Doggie kind.
I nap the day on a snowy cloud
Gentle breezes rocking me,
And dream the dreams of earthlings,
And how it used to be.
The trees are full of liver treats,
And tennis balls abound,
And milkbones line the walkways
Just waiting to be found.
There even is a ring set up,
The grass all lush and green;
And everyone who gaits around
Becomes the Best of Breed.
For we’re all winners in this place;
We have no faults, you see.
And God passes out those ribbons
To each one, even me.
I drink from waters laced with gold,
My world a beauty to behold;
And wise old dogs do form my pride
To amble at my very side.
At night I sleep in angel’s arms,
Her wings protecting me,
And moonbeams dance about us
As stardust falls on thee.
So when your life on earth is spent
And you stand at Heaven’s gate,
Have no fear of loneliness –
For here, you know. I wait.”