We had some great times in our little family, didn’t we?
I stayed right beside you while Jessie, Zak, and Jilly grew up and moved away. I nuzzled next to your feet after you retired and sat alone writing. I ran with you. (Remember those days?) We spent time together on warm summer mornings on the Peninsula when Dad went to work. (Remember the turtles?) You snuck me lots of treats when Zak and Dad weren’t around. (The doctor said I was fat.) We hiked through tons of forests. (I got ticks but it was worth it!) We welcomed Layla into our family. (Isn’t she just perfect?) And Bandit, Peanut, and Peaches. (I love them, too!) We traveled to lots of states and cities! Visited tons of parks! Swam in lakes and creeks. Played catch. Rolled in grass and sand and snow!
In the past few months, I traveled back and forth to Raleigh with you and helped make moving away from the house you raised your children in and your great friends easier.
I know you love me, Mom, but it’s time. I’m tired. I don’t think you will ever stop loving me, but this is the best time for me to leave you. You are in a nice new place by Jilly now. (Maybe Zak will move there and you can catch a plane to see Jessie and Layla within fifteen minutes.) I don’t want to cloud your new home up with lots of memories of me to make you sad. So I’m going home. It’s best for you if I leave now.
Plus, I want to be with Molly. Play tug of war with her again. Have my legs back. My wild fuzzy hair, strong lungs. I want to roll in heaven’s thick grass and see her colors. Run in her warm snow!!
Be strong for Jessie, Zak, Jilly, and Dad, Mom. They are going to miss me. Sorry about waiting until you were on the plane to get sick, but it was best if you and dad were with Jessie and Layla and I was with Jilly and Zak. Didn’t all three of them know just what to do? I’m so proud of them.
Love you, Mom. Bye for now. See you later. I know I will live in your heart forever.
All my love,
Even in death you thought only of me. No dog ever loved as much as you. I love, love, love, love you right back. No human ever loved a dog more.
Run free, my sweet girl, run free.
All my love,
_____________________________________ CJ Zahner is a wife, mother, author, and a girl who loved a dog with all her heart.