I wrote this two years ago, shortly after his very sudden death. He had no known issues with his heart, but we believe he died of sudden heart failure when a tendon in his heart snapped. That morning, I was late for work, but he insisted on playing a round of ball. I relented and remember having a great morning with him. I returned from work that night and he greeted me as usual. I went into the bathroom to pee and had the door ajar (as every night) so that he could follow me in and run back and forth bringing me toys. This day was no different. He seemed absolutely fine. I picked him up and he yipped. I thought I had twisted his sensitive back accidentally, so I put him down gently and gave him a rub. He shook it off and went running for a toy. On his way back to the bathroom, he sounded like he slipped on the floor. His nails scratching like he was falling.Then suddenly, he fell over and started panting hard. I flew off of the toilet and dropped to the floor beside him. I screamed for Holly to call 911 -- I thought they would be able to tell me how to do doggie cpr. They didn't. Instead, Jackson died in my arms, probably terrified by my screaming. I completely lost it. It was one of the most horrific things that I have ever experienced. I miss him every day. And I thank him for bringing our new little guy, Finn, to us. They have some uncanny similarities.
All the Things I Love About You
I miss waking up and having you roll on your back to get tummy rubs.
I miss how you used your paws to smooth out your beard and wipe your eyes when you woke up. And then you would stretch your front legs down and your back legs out until they shook from the sheer length that you stretched them.
I love how you would lean against me and plop down hard while letting out a world weary sigh, expressing how comfy and very tired you were.
I love how you used to get stuck between Holly and the couch and start snoring because you were s -t-r-e-a-t-c-h-e-d out so long that you slid down.
I love how you would wave your paws in the air and pat me in the face when I first woke you up from a nap.
I love when you would roll over and show me your pokey out piggy belly for me to scratch.
I miss how you would raise your legs up for scratching even when you were sleeping.
I miss when I was getting ready to shower, how you would steal my underwear off of my feet and run around the house with them.
I miss how you dug on the bed at night to make the covers just so.
I miss how after dinner you would run around the house wiping your face on the dog bed. Then, you would frantically run around with the stuffed squirrel in your mouth desperately trying to find a place to bury it, whining because no place was good enough or secret enough. (As if any part of your life had been that wild or feral.)
I loved how you did three twirls from the kitchen sink, to the place where your food bowl was put down -- AT EVERY MEAL -- this was just something you did. Not something that I trained you to do.
I love how you played fetch and when you ran back to me, you always jumped over obstacles -- even if they weren't in the direct line between you and me. You just thought it was fun.
I love how when I showered you would lick my legs dry.
I loved how when I would dry my hair and I would tip my head upside down, you would come and give me kisses on my face. And how you loved the smell of my clean hair and the blowing air from the hair dryer. You used to put your little nose up to smell it and let your beard blow in the wind.
I miss how you used to play soccer. (Thank goodness for my new phone because now I have a video of it!) You would kick the ball directly to me and you would also stop the ball. If there was more than one person playing, if they asked, you would kick it to them too.
I love how you used your ears and your tail to express yourself.
I love how you would talk back -- and how sometimes you would yawn and talk at the same time.
I love how far back your ears used to go when you yawned.
I love how you loved me.
I love how you loved life and balls and humping cats.
(The cats miss you so much, Bentley and Royce keep walking around looking for you making these sad mournful yowls.)
I miss coming home at night and hearing your excited bark. And how you ran back and forth with your baby -- flirting with me not really letting me catch you at first.
I love how if I only left for 10 minutes, it didn't matter, you were the SAME amount of happy to see me as if I had been gone for 10 hours.
I always thought it was so cute that you would **actually** bury your bones outside in the back yard if you were able to sneak them outside.
I remember that day that you brought a **real** (dead and frozen) squirrel into the house. It seems your favorite stuffed squirrel wasn't good enough that day. But you seemed proud of what you had found in the yard and you wanted me to be proud too. I was a mostly grossed out, but it sure was funny -- once Holly put it back outside.
I love how you were the discipline enforcer. We always knew when a cat was doing something naughty. Now, Denny is running on the floor, and the kittens are on the stove. We will probably need all new furniture without you to stop them from clawing it.
I love how you would herd the escapee cats back into the house.
I love how you saved my life.
I love how you always made my day better -- even if it wasn't bad to begin with.
I miss feeding you. I keep forgetting you're not here and I keep getting your plate out anyway.
Who will I give the green peppers to? They were your favorite. And broccoli and brussel sprouts you liked them also. You also found peanut butter to be irresistible.
I love how you would stretch up and paw me when you wanted to be picked up and snuggled and how you always laid your head on me like a baby.
It's weird to be able to hug other people without you trying to worm your way in between us.
I miss how fully you loved everyone and how fervently you gave kisses -- even if sometimes you stuck your tongue up my nose or in my mouth.
I miss our little kissy game where I try to kiss your nose without you licking me -- and I love how you always won.
I miss watching you run and snuggle with Sam, but even though I'm so very sad and miss you and love you so much, I'm glad that you are running and playing and hanging off of his neck fur once again. You two were the best of friends, and I know you were so sad without him.
I love how you would play tug of war with your babies -- and how I could stick my fingers in your mouth while doing this and you would never bite me. You always just gave up and kissed me.
I love how you were trustworthy, you would never chew shoes, or other things on the floor. Although you were a tissue and paper thief.
I love how smart you were and how you could take the caps off of things. (except for the time the cats knocked a bottle on the floor containing some cat pills and we had to give you peroxide to throw them back up. Then, I realized perhaps I shouldn't have given you things to remove caps from.)
I love how you loved paper towel tubes and how we used to play a little game of sword fighting with them.
I love how you would paw me in the middle of the night to lift the covers if you got chilly.
I love how you loved to put your head on my pillow.
I love how you used to run and bounce while barking at the cats.
I love how you used to put your paws on the car door and rest your chin while looking out the window. And how you loved the breeze, but you always knew you had to lay down when we got on the highway, so that I could roll up the window so you wouldn't get hurt.
I loved the way you panted short and quick when you got excited.
I loved how you chewed your treats and baby carrots, and how you bobbed your head side to side while doing it.
I was so proud of you when you finally learned how to catch things in your mouth. It took a long time, but it was a victorious day and you seemed so proud (and surprised) that you had done it.
I remember how much you loved popcorn -- particularly smartfood because it was such a rare treat.
I loved how you learned to eat an apple while still on the core. You thought this was great fun and very delicious.
I love how you twitched your ears when I whispered in them.
I love how you put up with how much I loved you even though it might've been a little annoying sometimes, because I just couldn't get enough of you.
I love how even though I wasn't perfect and sometimes I yelled, you loved me anyway. Even when I made mistakes.
I am grateful that you taught me how to love this deeply, even though I never thought I held back -- I loved you more than anything or anyone else because I didn't hold back with you.
I want you to know that even though I am the saddest I have ever been, that I would do it all over again and I would bring you home tucked in my coat all over again. I would stand outside in the middle of the night in the pouring rain with an umbrella over you, while you learned to potty train during the rainiest spring I can ever remember.
The worms in grandma and grandpa's yard can rest easy now, since your expert worming skills are now being utilized in heaven.
I love how intuitive you were. Whenever I had surgery, or pepere had surgery, you always knew how to be gentle and to not jump up. You would just lay beside us and snuggle and be patient until we felt well enough to throw your ball or go for a walk. Please give Pepere a hug and kiss for me.
I love how you wiggled your tail when Holly talked to you. You had that one little special wag just for her.
I am so grateful to you that waited to say good bye to me one last time before you died. I don't think I could have coped if you had died alone and not in my arms.
I am grateful that you were so insistent on Tuesday morning about playing ball -- and that I took the time (even though I really didn't have it) to play ball -- because it was the last time we would ever do it again. Thank you for reminding me to take the time to do the things that are important even if they aren't convenient. Life is too short and I had know idea how quickly my life would be turned upside down.
I'm sad that I don't have you to help me through this. You've always been there for me when I needed you. I'm so lost without you.
I love how you used to throw M&M's up in the air and kick them like a ball before you devoured them.
I love how you disliked President George W. Bush. You barked anytime you heard is voice and you particularly hated the electronic toy that we had where he would say stupid things over and over again.
You had a love/hate relationship with things that were robotic. It was kind of hilarious.
I will miss not having you around to bite and chase the vacuum while I'm cleaning. I'm fairly certain that without your help the vacuum will, in fact **acutally** eat me. Thank you very being the best vacuum slayer in the world. I hope I can take him without your help. ( I might enjoy, just a tiny bit, getting the vacuuming done in half the time, though... but just a little.)
I promise I will never replace you. But I hope you'll understand that I need to get another dog one day -- because I need help getting over you. The space you left behind fills my entire chest, not just my heart. It really does hurt and my heart really is broken. I'm wrecked. My life seems so empty without you. You made everything more joyful because you just knew how to love everything the mostest.
I feel grateful that there are so many things about you that I remember -- I don't think there is a single other living being that I love this many things about. This is what made you such a great dog -- you were every where and in everything I did.
I'm not mad at you for dying. I'm mad that something thought we didn't need each other anymore. I know you didn't want to go. I'm sad that the children I hope to have one day will never know you.
You would've been the bestest big brother EVER.
I love how funny you were. You liked to be silly and you loved to make everyone laugh.
I love how you used to chew on your babies and my blanket and pillow and sheets, while making clicking noises with your teeth. You never made holes in anything, but you liked how they felt when you bit them.
You were just so damned cute in your little life vest and your little doggie paddle, but I had to stop bringing you in the water because you really hated it. (You did it for me though.)
Thank you for always barking when I swam -- if I was really drowning, I would have had the attention of all who were able to save me if I needed help getting out of the water.
I love how you used to put up with Shaylin and all of the times she used to dress you up and keep you trapped in her room. You were so sweet, you never nipped, but you also didn't waste a SECOND running out of there if the door was opened. Thank you for being so patient -- I have some really great photos from those times so that I can remember everything about you.