I sit here as I have just finished throwing out the rest of the medications you used to take. As I lift your collar and hear the jingling of your tags one last time. You were more than just a pet to me. You were my best friend.
You were born in the spring of 2014. Christian came across your picture on Facebook. A friend was selling a litter of puppies, and to no surprise, you were the one for us. He came out holding a chubby, brown, puppy. I was in total awe as I cuddled you for the first time.
And unfortunately, you spent very little time with Christian before he deployed. This just meant extra bonding time for you and I.
We moved back home with my mom and she didn’t allow you in the house, which broke my heart, but I had to follow the rules.
Watching you grow was amazing. I knew you were going to be big, but not that big, and FLUFFY,
I spent almost everyday brushing your long mane out, and talking about my frustrations. You had such an understanding face, I though you would even speak at times. Everything was going so well between you and I , I didn’t think things could ever get worse.
I got a call one day at work. You were hiding out under the house, bleeding. You refused to come out. My heart dropped and I bought everything first aid I could think of. I though you had just got in a fight with another dog, but it was much, much worse.
I pulled up to the house and my brother-in-law offered to go in after you. He took at look at your wound and knew immediately it was a gun shot wound. I had to act quick.
I rushed you to the nearest animal emergency room, where they took your x-ray, but did not provide you much help. I had to find someone better. I drove nearly an hour away to an animal hospital in Round Rock. They knew what to do and you went into surgery right away. I thought they would tell me that you weren’t going to make it.
I went home and went back in as soon as the surgery was over. The bullet had pierced 5 of your major organs, but you were going to be fine. You were so happy to see me and I was overjoyed to see you, too.
You spent a good week in the ICU and then it was time to take you home.
We tried to find who was responsible to get some closure, but to no surprise, no one confessed.
That weekend we were all sleeping when I became so annoyed that you kept banging your cone against your kennel. I got up to check on you and you looked towards my little sisters room and barked. I look that way and I smelled smoke. There was a fire within the wall of her room that had sparked. If it wasn’t for you, she could have gotten carbon monoxide poisoning. We tried to turn out the fire as best we could and we waited for the fire department to arrive. I made sure you were one of the first out of the house. Luckily there was not too much damage to the house and no one was hurt. You saved us that day.
A week later it was time for us to move to Fort Riley, where we would meet Christian, who had already been away for 9 months.
You saw and played in your first snow blizzard and we took you wherever we could.
We also had a couple of scares where you got sick and refused to eat or drink, but you overcame it with some daily medication that we got prescribed for you there.
Before we knew it, it was time to move to Fort Lewis, WA. Christian got orders and we were to take a road trip there. I made sure everything was made to accommodate you. We had so much fun!
We roamed 5 cities. We took you to the Wyoming State Park and a tour of an old penitentiary, to protect us from the spooks.
We made it to our new home just fine. But within a couple of months, we noticed you became more and more tired…and I didn’t want to think about not being with you.
I was 7 months pregnant with Olivia when you began to bloat. Your pancreas was leaking fluids into your belly and there was nothing we could do for you any longer. There was no medication we could give you to make it all go away. We didn’t want to go through any suffering any longer. We had to make a call and that was to put you at peace without any pain…
I didn’t like the idea of you not meeting Olivia. You had supported me through the sickness and everything that came along with pregnancy. And with the heaviest heart we chose a day to take you in to put you to sleep.
That morning I cooked the largest breakfast for you and we bought you an entire pizza. You ate like a king. We had a silent ride to the veterinarians office. We checked you in and the doctors walked us through what would happen. I’m sorry that we had to let go.
Christian felt helpless that he could not protect you from this. You gave us the saddest puppy dog eyes and we said goodbye. We held you and stroked your hair until we were ready. I was never ready to let go. We cried so much that day. We put your bowls away and hung your collar on the hook by the door.
To this day we think of you and we laugh and we cry. You were the best dog ever Raleigh. And I can’t begin to express how much you meant to us. We scattered your ashes in the field behind my mom’s house where you grew up and where you played. We hold your picture close to our hearts and we know you are somewhere eating all the chicken breasts out of the kitchen sinks in heaven.
Thank you for everything. I hope to see you again one day.
your momma, Mary.