Aug 31 2011

Found 4/15/05, Lost 7/2/11 - My beloved "Big D". There simply aren't words big enough to describe who you were and how well you were loved.

You fell into my life quite unexpectedly, a foster dog that I "absolutely could NOT keep." Ha. You were one too many, you were too big, too slobbery and quite smelly. And you knew you were mine the second I hauled you out of the shelter. I did, too. We had more adventures in six short years than most humans do in a lifetime. You tried every dog sport you could, succeeded at some, but mostly, you were my rock. My constant companion, my calm in the storm that is life. You knew my moods better than I did. You could always be counted on to be there, to be steady.

We swam, tracked, hiked, competed, worked, taught, learned, and got skunked together. If it was wild, then you were in. You did everything in a big way, and managed to be brilliant in your goofiness. You made everyone shake their heads and laugh, because only you would get totally sidetracked while lure coursing and instead of chasing the lure, jump over a pile of hay bales and bring me back an empty water bottle. Only you would manage to slip a harness during training and simply finish the exercise on your own, successfully too, I might add. Only you would escape from any enclosure I put you in, leap fences and go through windows to come looking for me. Of course, you always found me, I was always there. I would never leave you. You had to know that.

You and I were meant to be, it was such a grand love affair, and I learned so much from you. I will carry the lessons with me always, and mourn your loss for the rest of my days.

I feel very much that you were taken from me too soon. Robbed that we never got those golden years to sit around together and reminisce about "the good ol' days." Maybe that just wasn't in the cards for us. Because you left my life just the way you came in, big, bold, brave and strong. Quite unexpectedly and with a bang. Like everything else you ever did, you even died with flair. Who gets a spontaneous pneumothorax? Who does that? Of course, you would. And not once, but twice. The first one we beat, with multiple tests and major surgeries. Remove his lung? Sure, let's do it. They said it was curative. They said you'd have a long, normal life and play ball again, go tracking, and age gracefully. Six weeks later, almost to the day, your other lung blew out, and there was nothing more to be done. Because breathing is, you know, somewhat necessary.

I knew when I took you in, when we loaded the family into the car, that you would not be coming home with us. Still, we all hoped. Held onto that tiny shred, hoping for a miracle.

We didn't get a miracle. We said our goodbyes, and I held you tight as the vet eased your pain. I will miss you every day, my beautiful friend. I am ever grateful to have known you. The empty space in our home and hearts is just about your size. Too big.

I have told many people that you lived big, loved hard, and will be missed by many. I believe that is the mark of a truly successful life.

Rest easy D,
Love always,
Michelle, Josh, Quinn, Jester, Teak, Karma and Castle