Truth be told, I didn’t have anything good to report this morning, and then put off writing anything at all until this evening. Saturday evening our twelve year old golden retriever died. We’d gone to Galveston for the day, first to attend the Greek Festival and then we hung around for ArtWalk. Dinner with the fam and when we got home late that evening, my husband found her in the backyard. He said she looked like she’d been lying in the sun (it felt good to her old joints) where she’d just fallen asleep.
Early Sunday morning, before church, he dug a grave for her next to our daughter’s Chorkie, Evelyn, who passed away in 2016. They are both under the sycamore tree, side by side, which seems appropriate. When Evelyn was still alive, she would climb on top of Hurley and use her for a cushion. Hurley was the sweetest dog ever, and mothered Evelyn, even though they were not biologically related. So I like the idea of their final resting places being so near each other.
I think at some point we are going to put a little birdbath out there as a marker. Or maybe some wind chimes in the tree. But there’s no hurry.
Be joyful, y’all. Even in loss there is joy for the memories.
We have always loved our furry babies. In the 24 years that my husband and I have been married, we have never been without pets. Our babies have added so much joy and laughter to our family. It’s never easy when our journey together ends.
The photo above was taken about five years ago. I love it, though, because it’s such a perfect illustration of our dogs and their relationships with each other. Hurley Monroe, the golden, is my husband’s baby and this shows her laid-back, even tempered nature. She just goes with the flow and doesn’t let anything upset her. Sweetie, the chihuahua, is mine. She’s independent, and her pose in this photo shows that. What she doesn’t let on is that she’s actually very affectionate and loves attention, in spite of her independence. Sweetie will turn eleven in June, and Hurley will turn eleven in September. It’s hard to believe they’ve been part of our family for so many years.
The little girl lying across Hurley’s back, though. That little girl is who I hope to honor today. Evelyn May was Sweetie’s daughter, but her father was a Yorkshire Terrier. Evelyn inherited her mama’s big ears and soulful eyes. Her fur was this crazy long/short business – long yorkie hairs randomly popping up from shorter chihuahua-like hairs, and all yorkie markings. Her birth was a science lesson – our daughter watching her come into this world, and immediately wanting to keep her. We couldn’t say no to the roly-poly little pudge ball.
Sweetie was a good mama, and Hurley would fill in for her in a pinch. I can still see Evelyn rolling over on her back so Hurley could groom her if Sweetie wasn’t nearby. It was the craziest thing I’d ever seen. The pups truly seemed to love each other, playing with each other and on more than one occasion, I’d discover Evelyn using Hurley like a bed, and Hurley peacefully obliging.
My girl adored that spoiled little dog and they had the joy of each other’s love for almost nine years. A few weeks ago, though, Evelyn began to have some health problems and preliminary tests indicated an enlarged heart and issues with her spleen. If that weren’t bad enough, there were also indicators of cancer. We hoped, really hoped she would get better, even if to have her with us just a little longer, but when she couldn’t keep her food down, we knew our time with her was at an end.
I was incredibly proud when my girl made the hard, but right decision. She let her beloved Evelyn go. She was with her when she was born, and she loved her as she left this world. I don’t have any scriptural backup for it, but I just can’t help but think that our beloved pets are waiting for us in heaven. I’d like to think Evelyn and my Australian shepherd, Sydney, are waiting for us – running in a spring meadow with lots of other dogs waiting for their families, too.