Across the Rainbow Bridge

On Monday I had to put my dog to sleep. He was a wonderful, old lab mix that the vets never could agree about. Some said he was part mastiff, others part Dane, but all agreed that it was part BIG. He was a sweetheart, a lover, a comforter, and a protector. He was there when we needed him every time, there to scare off anyone from coming inside that he didn’t personally agree with. He took care of us.

When we got kittens, he became their guardian. He understood that the babies were his new ones to be his to protect. He let them climb on him. He wagged his tail so they would play with it. They, in turn, treated him as their protector and de facto nanny. He didn’t even chase after the cats when one of them scented his nose.

Buddy was a silent protector who needed to know where everyone was at all points in time. He had to lie down in the best place to see all of the people in his home. So he, in essence, was a road block 99% of the time. After all, it is never easy stepping over a 112 pound dog whenever he blocked a door especially when he would unexpectedly raise his head or try to stand up while you are mid-step.

The decision to let my dog go over the Rainbow Bridge was not made easily. I waited and put it off as long as I could. I just couldn’t let him go until he started whimpering in pain each night. It became difficult for him to walk, to stand, and to remain standing even during his walks. I finally had to accept that his quality of life was not worth the struggle of the day to day. I talked with his vet and she agreed that it was time. We cried. We held onto him and let the tears flow. We hugged him and petted him and it seemed that he understood in the end. The vet came in and he placed his big, blocky head into her hand and looked into her eyes. Acceptance and love were there for all to see.

He died as he came to us, a big lover, protector, and a huge part of my family.

I love and miss you, Buddy. One day we will meet again, across the Rainbow Bridge.