Thursday, July 9, 2009

A world without Hope

It is with a heavy heart and bleakness of soul that I journal here tonight. For I have lost a dear friend - our beloved family pet, Hope. Tears journey down my face now as I think about the emptiness that will be felt in my house without her loving presence. She was the greatest companion one could ever wish for. The happiest of dogs, you couldn't help but fall in love with her smiling face.

We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment.

~George Eliot

Her body failed her - and though I am grateful for the ability to end and unbelievable amount of suffering for her, it is surprising how painful it is to know that she is gone. It is hard, of course, not being able to be with my family during this time. Knowing that they are hurting is as heartbreaking to me as knowing that I too have lost.

She picked us. For some time, my mother and father had secretly been searching for a puppy to surprise my sister. Upon reading about a litter of shelties in the local paper, my father ventured out to have a look at the available pups. He would later tell us that he walked into the room where the puppies were kept, and sat down on the floor. All of the puppies scattered away, afraid of the large stranger in their midst, but one, the tiniest of the litter, walked directly over and crawled into his lap. She picked us.

Some of you may know that Hope was born with a slight birth defect. She had no elbow joint in a front leg. As a puppy, she had difficulty walking, but eventually gained enough muscle strength to have a fully functioning leg - she was able to run, to fetch, and would always go to far, too fast for her small body. But as long as you were around, she was happy.

She was always there. She knew when you were happy, when you were sad, when you needed a friend, or when you just wanted to be left alone. She was the one that was there on the front porch with me that morning I received a phone call that turned my world upside-down. She was there before the margaritas and ice cream. I will never forget the way she could weasel herself up underneath your arm so that she was snuggled with you - a place she knew you wouldn't want to move from.

She was with us for too short a time. But long enough for each of us to truly understand the happiness of owning a dog. I am so very sorry for not throwing the stick more times or complaining about her fur on my black pants. If I could have just one more day, I would let her lay all day on my nicest of clothes and I would throw the ball and never tell her that I was tired.

You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

I will eternally miss you, Hope. I will miss your smiling face and your kind soul. I will miss the way you always knew, but never judged. I hope there is someone in heaven throwing the stick over and over again. And one day, I know I'll see your smiling face again. I love you, Hope. There could never be a pet as wonderful as you.

Hope Zint (akc: Laura Beth's Last Hope)
April 2004 - July 2009

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