Monday, October 26, 2009
THIS IS HOW WE SAY GOOD-BYE TO OUR DOG...
This evening, at 5:00 PM, we'll be saying good-bye to our old friend, Snoopy. We're sending him back to his Creator. He's had a good run. He's around 12 years of age. I've called him a cow-dog because of his markings...and well, his "shape", but I digress.
Snoopy and I have been friends for the last six years. It has been a good six year run for both of us. We adopted each other. I think we each felt "settled" with the other. He had someone that was tender with him, and I had someone that would protect and follow me around, as well as sit on my feet to keep them warm. We understood each other. My little yorkie, "Sunny", was staying in Fallbrook at the time Snoopy and I met. He had been killed by coyotes-but I hadn't heard it yet...Snoopy somehow "knew" about it before I did. That morning, Snoopy began to follow me around for the first time. He was waiting for me as I stepped out of my bathroom that morning. I giggled when I found him there (after I almost broke my neck tripping over him) and patted him and thanked him. He followed me around that morning before work and watched me as I walked out the door. He was so cute that morning. His behavior really stuck with me. That afternoon, I found out about Sunny. I came home and Snoopy was there waiting for me, continuing to follow me around. He never stopped. Never. He still follows me around, only now it's with his eyes because he can't walk anymore. Now, I follow him. I lay next to him. I sit next to him. We sit outside together.
But that's how Eli and Peter feel as well. Everyone loves Snoopy. Even our neighbors from our last neighborhood. Everyone loved the "kind, old gentleman". People driving by on golf carts would stop to talk to Snoopy. He has the kindest face on the planet. His eyes are so big and brown and soulful. It's how he communicates. Eli's brother and sister, Peter Jr. and Marissa each adore Snoopy as well. He's been a part of their lives for twelve years. That's a long time.
Snoopy has traveled more than most people. He lived in Maine with Peter and the boys. He loved to run along the rocky beaches there. He loved to jump and run in the snow. He didn't mind the cold. And as far as the desert goes, he never minded the heat. The dog just never complained about anything. He was always in the moment, never complaining, always obedient, always humble, always teachable, always loving, always guileless. He has been a kind and good teacher for me. Slow to anger, quick to forgive.
We have held on to Snoopy perhaps too long. As Eli and I spoke today, we decided that it's because we are perhaps being selfish. It's easier to reach out and touch him and pet him and watch him wag his tail and see him smile (yes! he certainly DOES smile!!). More than that, we may be fearful of the grief that we will experience when Snoopy is gone, because of the hole he will leave in his wake. No one can fill that. Then we discussed that fear and faith cannot coexist. If we are experiencing fear, it is because we do not have enough faith-and that needs to change.
It takes faith to let Snoopy's spirit run free. It takes faith to love Snoopy enough to release him from his body, which has become a prison for him. It takes faith to turn him over to his original Master. It takes faith to just let go.
So Snoop, tonight we will exercise our faith and release you out of the prison you are in. We will gather around you so that the last thing you see are three loving faces smiling at you. The last thing you feel will be three loving hands caressing your sweet brow. And the last thing you hear will be words of thanks for your years of service. You will feel no pain...just love. Good boy, Snoopy. Good boy.