A letter to Newton
Yesterday I sat with you, holding you as you took your last breath and went over the rainbow bridge. Your tail still wagging as we told you over and over what a great boy you were. Forever thanking you as you’ve done your job better then we ever could have imagined. You exceeded our expectations, you showed us what real and pure love feels like. A love without judgement, a love without anger or any of the petty selfish emotions we humans dwell on. To lose you so soon, is completely unfair.
I can still remember bringing you home a little over 2 years ago. You were so full of life, giant paws and soulful eyes, with the a lack of coordination that never ceased to amaze us.
Your giant heart quickly captured ours.
You have the most gentle and kind nature, especially since you considered yourself a 100 lb lap dog. To know you, is to love you. I see the emotions of people around us now and know that you were loved by many.
I sit here numb, but the tears still pour down my face. My only solace is that we kept our promise to you from my first letter and promise to you.
My beautiful brave dog, you were my best friend. We saw you peak and fall too quickly and all in the same week. Your stoic nature would never allow a whine or a groan to escape, I think you knew it would break me. Your wonderful vet friends all tell me you never suffered a moments pain from this terrible disease. When we made the final walk into the vet, you still greeted all with tailwags and affection.
While I don’t believe you felt pain, you were very uncomfortable the last night we were together. You stood in the same place, and would not move even as I did. I’m so very sorry that you suffered even a moment of discomfort. I realize now with clarity from your Grandmother that you may have been afraid and uncertain. I am so thankful that she told you what to expect to try and ease your uncertainty.
We brought you home 5 days before and tried to give you, your perfect day, everyday. We tried to wine and dine you with concoctions I have watched you dream about for two years. Your dad took you on your favorite walks. We knew we did not have time to give you everything as you deserved, I wish we did.
After we visited with your original family, it seemed like you had seen everyone that you loved most in the world: as your grandparents, your brother and sister, favorite aunts and uncles & furry cousins came to visit, wrote encouraging words and sent all their love. You were now waiting for us, you knew it was time.
Please forgive me dear friend, as we made the decision that we could not stand to see you suffer. This shattered me, you never deserved an uncomfortable moment. We needed to grant you a peaceful exit, surrounded by those you love most. I will be forever grateful to your Grandmother, as she told you what I forgot to, she told you what to expect after. All the friends that were going to meet you, that you wouldn’t be alone. I told you you were loved, that we will see you again, that it would not hurt. She thought of you and told you what I forgot.
Please forgive me as I know you would not want to be the dog you were so shortly about to become. This was the hardest decision we’ve ever made in our lives. Please know that it was not an easy one to make.
All these books, websites and people tell me to write, so I shall. Because, dear Newton, I know you know all these emotions and thoughts, but you deserve to hear them. I’ll tell you my weird and deeply personal secret – I believe you were the daily food for my soul.
The separation and loss I feel cannot be computed into words. Even as I try, the sadness rips into my core. You were what my world revolved around. Your daily schedule was also mine. I’m at a loss on how to move forward. What to do next. You were our first true love together. Your dad and I love each other, but we’ve never loved something together so true.
I am truly thankful that your dad spoiled you as my back was turned, he let you enjoy the foods I was so desperate to keep away from you. He did what I was unwilling to do – he spoiled you with food. We both spoiled you with love. The house is so empty without you. Your favorite places are now vacant, I can’t even look at the backyard.
Anatole France once wrote, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened”. I believe this accurately describes everything we are going through, and why.
Dearest friend, you’ve given us more then enough memories to last a lifetime and in only 2 short years. Yet you’ve done more then most people have done, you’ve changed your dad and I into better people. You’ve taught me life lessons that I think it’s only fair that I share with you.
So here you are.
Life Lessons from my best friend
1. It’s ok to stop and smell the roses every once and awhile, even the smelly ones.
2. Give hugs and smiles – often
3. Always tell the ones you love, you love them
4. The forever optimist you are – Look at the world with eyes wide open
5. Love big
6. Practice patience and be kind to others
7. Appreciate great food
8. Love the outdoors. Every time I walk our favorite trails, I will picture you happy beside us
9. Give everyone you meet a chance, they may surprise you
10. Don’t ever go to bed angry
These are things that I will take with me forever, as you have changed us into better people. It does not help the deep hole of loss that I feel as you left us for your better place. I know that I will need time. I thank you for absolutely everything, I appreciated you and loved you every day of your life. My day will not feel complete until I see you again and get my daily hug from you. In case I never told you, those hugs were my favorite.
Please know that you will be forever remembered. I will miss you all the days of my life. Thank you so much for everything you have done. You’ve done what many others can only hope to do, you’ve left a legacy.
You loved all you met, big or small, furry or human. I promise to visit all your friends often, and spoil them with affection that I know you will send their way. Your dad and I will visit your favorite places, and remember you as we do so. I invite you to come with us as we do this, and any other time you like. In fact I look forward to it.
This letter doesn’t even begin to describe everything. Forgive me again as I cannot start to move forward until I say a tearful goodbye until the next time we meet. I picture you now like the photos below. Happy in your favorite places and fields full of wonderful adventures, a world full of cheeseburgers and bellyrubs. I selfishly ask you to wait for me, until I can meet you next. For you will be the most wonderful greeter that I can ever imagine. Go and enjoy your peace, as you so deserve it. Run in the fields and play with your furry friends. Please visit me often in my dreams, as I will always welcome you with arms wide open.