It was a bitter-sweet Thanksgiving in my home. Friday, the day after, we said goodbye to our beloved Sky. She was a unique member of the family since she was the only one who walked on four legs and ate dog food. But make no mistake, to her, that was the only difference between us. Sky was an equal member of the family and she reminded us of that often.
While we are relieved that she is no longer in pain, her passing leaves us with broken hearts and a void in our lives will not be replaced. The heartbreak was especially evident in our son. Some nine years ago he picked her up from a rescue shelter. No one knew how old she really was. But she entered his life at an important time in life and together they made it through.
Dogs are amazing creatures of God. They seem to be aware of your every mood. They are masters of unspoken communication. I sometimes wonder if they know more than they let on... content to let us believe that "we are in charge." As a shepherd mix, Sky literally spoke to us --in her own language! She would purse her lips and either growl, purr or bark softly, seemingly putting words together that made it easy for anyone to understand what she wanted. And on those days that we did not pay her the attention she desired, Sky would stomp her front paws on the floor in a furry hissy fit until we responded!
We loved her dearly, but like any other family member she tested us.
She famously destroyed a lot of property. Sky did not like to be left alone. We were told it was "separation anxiety." And before we finally understood that about her, she had destroyed 3 sets of window blinds, 3 kennels, a rug, a door casing, garage door sensors, the side of my truck, stuffed animals, etc, etc... (I won't even mention what the hint of a thunderstorm would do to her stomach!). We later discovered that she simply did not want to be left alone. She wanted to be with "her people."
I will miss our morning walks to get the paper (she never got the concept of retrieving it for me).
Her constant presence at or near my wife's feet.
Her relationship with my daughter, whom she considered a sibling.
But most of all I will miss what she meant to my son. She left no doubt that he belonged to her!
They were travel, hiking, running, cruising and camping companions. He took her everywhere. I often spotted him driving around town. He behind the wheel, she with her head sticking out of the passenger side window with a smile on her face! Whenever she was with him they seemed to be having the time of their lives. They took great care of each other!
On her last day with us she would not let my son out of her sight. Whenever he got up to stretch his legs she would begin crying softly until he returned. He was her soul mate. She only seemed to be hanging on until he assured her that it was okay to go.
Tears flowed freely on that Friday November 23rd. They still do today. A boy (now a grown man) and his dog embracing their last moments together.
What is it about people-dogs that bring us such great joy, only to break our hearts in the end?!
Goodbye Sky. You were a one of a kind. A hall of famer. I believe God has a special place in heaven for her, but we should warn Him. KEEP SKY AWAY FROM THE WINDOW BLINDS!!!
One of my favorite sayings is, "one day I'd like to be the man my dog thinks I am!" I always thought that was funny until I thought about it some more. Sky was teaching us something. Teaching us to be kind and to love without expecting anything in return. Like I said before, Sky knew something we didn't. It's up to us to listen... and love.
Thank you Sky.
We love you,