My friends' dog is dying. This particular dog has been a part of our family for several years now. 'Zippy' would come stay with us when his owners were away. I personally had never had a close encounter with border collies until I met Zippy. I always found his neuroticism rather entertaining. Zippy is such a 'homebody' he hated being away from his home and owners. He pouted and went on hunger strikes when he came to my house. Once I found him sitting up on Maya's bed with his snout pressed into the corner of the wall.....pouting. He has this uncontrollable urge to howl at the train. He loved chasing bubbles. Eventually, he accepted us. We loved having him around. When we got the word that he has aggressive cancer, we went over to say 'good-bye' to him as a family. Today, he will go to doggie heaven. I asked my friend, "is it weird to choose when he will go?"--playing 'god'.....strange.
When I was a child, the only thing I ever wanted was a dog. We finally got our first dog when I turned 15--a female Golden Retriever. She died when she was 2 years old. Poisoned from eating the grass saturated in pesticides. There were several dogs in the neighborhood that died from the same thing that year. The city neglected to inform the residents when they sprayed the weeds around town. I went to see my friends while my parents went to retrieve her lifeless body from the vet....to avoid it altogether. I was a teenager who did not know how to express my feelings. By the time I returned home, she had been cremated and gone. I never got the chance to say good-bye. My mom told me how she cut all the flowers from her garden to put around her in the box she was laying in. The regret I felt that day has been with me for a long time. Watching Zippy struggle to his feet to greet me brought it all back.
Silent and loyal. You are their whole world. Dogs spend most of their life waiting for us to come home. They shower us with unconditional love and teach us what it means to be alive.
I woke up with a knot in my stomach. Today is the day. I know he wasn't our dog, but he was a big part of our lives. We will miss him. My girls cried when I told them about the cancer. I cried as I listened to my friend talk about how he plans to say good bye. I am glad Zippy will not be in pain anymore. Please do not argue with me whether dogs go to heaven or not right now. I know heaven is a beautiful place, but why is it so difficult and painful? I try to imagine Zippy running towards the sunset through heaven's meadow filled with flowers. It's beautiful. Rest in Peace, Zippy. It's been a wonderful adventure. I'm glad we became friends.