A Letter of Love to My Departed Dog Diego

DiegoI can stare blankly at the page, and the words aren’t likely to be as eloquent as I would like them to be, now that you are gone.  Where do I start?  In knowing that life and death are part of nature, and that death is never easy, when it’s someone you love.  Whether they have two legs, or four.

Thank you for being my companion and best friend.  For making me laugh, and licking my face whenever I cried.  Thank you for listening to my crazy rambles, for your antics that always lifted my heart, and your attitude which seemed to mirror some of my worst qualities. :)   Thank you for loving pizza, Swiss Chalet and nachos like I did.   Thank you for scrutinizing my dates, and helping me listen more intuitively to your instincts; you were never wrong, about liking or disliking human beings I met.

Thank you for being adventurous and being patient.  Sitting with me on a park bench while I wrote poetry, or down by the water at Toronto Harbor, our favorite place to soak in the waves, and watch the pretty boats, while sharing a hot dog.

Thank you for always being happy to see me, with a gregarious wagging tail, and bossy bark, that snapped me out of whatever problems I faced that day.  Thank you for grounding me, cuddling with me, and making my big bed feel full of love; I never felt empty with you around.

Thank you for putting on the fancy jackets and sweaters that got me dates, at the dog parks in Toronto.  Thank you for riding shot gun with me in the car, for sharing my french fries at McDonald’s, and nuzzling me anytime you felt my spirit needed a lift.  Thank you for co-writing with me, with your small head resting on my feet under my desk.  Always encouraging me to be brave, when I felt most alone in this world. Thank you for snapping me out of the depression of my miscarriages, and for being the baby I could nurture and train and love.  God, you were so smart.  I know you could read my mind.  And you touched so many hearts with your outgoing and colorful personality.

The space that feels empty now without you, I will work to replace with all the memories I can never forget.  Me and my dog, through so many evolutionary periods in my life. Camping with you, walking down a beach with you, road trips, hotel rooms where I snuck you in.  You traveled everywhere, from Toronto to Newfoundland by road, and rode on a ferry.  Our last big road trip, to start a new life in Texas.  And a new family, full of children and a Daddy who loved you, and called you his special boy.

I want you to know that the struggle I faced to afford your healthcare, was never resented.  For all you brought to my life, it was my honor to love and care for you.  From the first time I saw you right after my third miscarriage, and you wagged that little tiny tail and howled, when I stepped back from the window in the pet shop.  And when I held you, in the waiting area in Pickering, the lady said she had never heard you make so much of a peep.  You stopped crying, looked up at me with those tiny brown eyes, and that ridiculously small toothpick of a tail, and smiled.  And when I held you to my face, you covered me with kisses and got so happy.  I knew we were meant to be.

Diego 2We were always meant to be together.  And the biggest crime in nature, is that a dog like you loves so greatly, but is here on the planet for such a short time.  In the end, I knew how hard you were fighting to stay.  I will remember your last kiss two days ago forever, as I sat with my head down to the dog bed, and told you how much I loved you.  And promised you, that I would see you again.

I will miss you every day of my life, my little Beans. My gift from God, and my angel friend.  My heart hurts, but I know why you stayed three years after the vet said to “spend as much time as possible” with you.  You beat the odds.  We left no stone un-turned to care for you, out of the love Daddy and I both had for you, and your sweet amazing soul.

In my most hopeful heart, I will see you in a field, running toward Otis, your old friend and side-kick.  A year later, Aunt Kimmy feels the loss as I know I still will, for many years to come.  But God in his mercy, answered my prayers.  You went peacefully at home, less than 12 feet from me, and drifted off to a painless sleep, and a better place, where your little body will hurt no more.

And I hope I gave you at least half the love you so deserved. You were my world. And you will always be half of my heart.  Wait for me.  We’ll be together again some day.  Until then, I will have to learn how to have a day without you in it, and try to remember what a blessing you were to my life, and how grateful I am for all you meant to me.