When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, they made the decision to enable them to experience good from evil, joy from sorrow and many other things in opposition. These last few days my heart has gone the gamut from complete and utter joy and bliss to complete and utter sorrow and despair. I understand those extreme opposites well now.
Our joy started last Friday when our son Nathan Copier married his UK sweetheart, Savannah Stevenson. I will leave the details to that for another post. Our sorrow happened yesterday when we lost our beloved pet and dearest furry friend, Scooter.
We have had several pets over the years and we have loved them all, but there was something so special about this little guy. He really was the sweetest dog we have known. He was loving, loyal, playful and eager to please. He loved to snuggle, give kisses and take care of my ‘wounds’ and sing with you. My heart is aching right now just knowing he’s not with us anymore.
Our whole family loved him dearly. Many of them have taken time to write sweet things about him on social media, but the one that got to me the most is what my hubby wrote about him this morning. Now, you need to understand that Scooter loved my husband more than anyone else in this world. They truly had a special bond. And as much as the rest of us loved and adored him, and he loved us in return…. it just wasn’t quite as strong as the bond between these two. Here is what John said today:
“It’s only a dog
My head says it’s only a dog. My heart says otherwise.
Yesterday we lost our beloved, talented handsome Scooter.
Scooter gave us almost eleven years of companionship, love and entertainment. We really loved that wonderful dog.
He was a faithful trusted and trusting companion. He was always wanting to please. He was always happy to see me, to go anywhere with me.
He will be missed by many people, the folks at Home Depot and Lowes, teammates and spectators at the ball park, certainly family members and neighborhood kids.
I will miss the look on his face when, while walking he would stop, slant his body toward home as if to say “Daddy, I can’t go much farther please can we go back home?” Then his willingness to try to go a little more. I will miss his head snuggling my neck when I carried him back home after he had given it his best.
I will miss his singing along with family members or with the with MoTabs, his singing “Happy Birthday” or “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”.
I can almost hear him singing for Grandpa Don and Grandma Jen right now.
I suppose I will miss most everything about this wonderful friend. Rest in peace. Thanks for all the love you gave.”
My heart broke again as I read those words this morning. I have learned over time that these precious additions to our family are just that…. family. Each time we have lost a pet it has been hard. Tears were shed all around, but this time…. I’ve wept so much harder and so much longer. Perhaps because Scooter was a house dog, it allowed us to get really close to him. Literally. He often slept in bed with us and he liked to be on our laps. When we lost our other pets, it was usually because of sickness and having them put to sleep, (though we did have one that a neighbor took a b-b gun to) so I wasn’t there to see their passing and their lifeless body. It’s hard to loose them, no matter how….. but with Scooter, it happened suddenly and sadly without us right by his side, though we were here.
He’s been acting like he wasn’t feeling the best for the last little while. He developed a wheezing that would set him back for a few minutes at times. It was concerning to me, but I passed it on to old age. He would have been 11 years old next month. In hindsight, I’m kicking myself for not getting him into the vet to see if anything could be done for it. He’d have spells where he seemed fine and then the wheezing would start again. Several times over the years he had what I called ‘clingy’ moments. No matter what you were doing, he’d stand right next to your leg and wouldn’t move unless you did. He never really seemed sick during these times…. just clingy. That has been going on off and on for years. Another sign that should have concerned us was a slowing down in energy, particularly during walks. Again, we just contributed it to old age.
Last summer, while out walking with my husband, he got a fox tail caught in his paw that became infected. We had to take him to the vet to have it removed. The vet expressed concern over some very loose teeth he had and wondered if we would allow him to remove them as long as he was under the knife for the paw surgery. We also decided to finally have him neutered at that time as well. Yes…. we should have done it many years earlier, but just didn’t do it for many reasons. Since that surgery last summer, it seems his health has declined. He seemed to gain weight, which we couldn’t understand since his diet hadn’t changed, but after doing some research, I found that that can be a side effect of neutering at an older age. I also did some research on some of the other symptoms he’d been having, some of which I’ve mentioned. Of course sadly…. much of my research wasn’t done till he was gone.
Yesterday after we got back from church, we wanted to take a nap since we were still suffering from a little jet lag from our trip to London. All of the dogs (yes all…. we are tending our sons 2 dogs and our daughters dog lives here now too….) were on the bed with us. Scooter started panting really heavy and couldn’t seem to get comfortable. He would try to lay down and then stand or sit back up. I started to realize that he might be in a little pain. I was going to see if there were any essential oils that might help relieve some pain, but I stopped to make some dinner first. I told my hubby and daughter that I didn’t think he was feeling well at all. They both tended to him for a while. He sat on John’s lap for a while then disappeared. A while later (I don’t think it was more than 15 min) I realized he wasn’t in the house panting anymore. We all went to look for him and I headed outside calling his name. When I walked to the end of the deck to see if I could see him in the yard, I saw him laying at the bottom of the stairs on the grass. I screamed and ran to him as quickly as I could. Unfortunately, he was already gone. My husband tried a little CPR on him to see if he could get him breathing again, but to no avail. Then the mourning process began.
Since both of my boys are in London right now, one because he now lives there, the other because he extended his stay after the wedding, it was only my husband and daughter and I that were there. After a few minutes of sitting and crying and holding him, we sent a text to our boys to let them know he had passed. More tears and sorrow came from them when they replied by phone to the news.
It’s been a hard day (and night). My eyes are puffy from crying and my heart is sore. It truly hurts as much as losing my parents did. He wasn’t only a dog. He was our baby. He was our loyal friend and companion. He took a big chunk of my heart with him. He will be missed by all.
I know time will heal and it will become a little less painful, but for now, my heart needs to grieve. We did decide to bury him here at home so I will be able to build a little memorial to him to always remember him by.
I am so grateful for the years we had with that special dog. What joy he brought into our lives. I’m grateful to know that he is in doggy heaven, running and playing with as much energy as he had as a puppy, and that he is with my Mom and Dad.
My only regret is not trying to see if there was something that could be done a while back. If you have a beloved pet…. please follow your heart and take them to the Vet when you feel like you need to. I don’t want to live with the guilt that perhaps we could have done better. Perhaps it was just his time…. but I will never know. He really was dearly loved.
I shall miss my little fury friend greeting us at the door when we returned home. His little happy dance to see us and not stopping till he got his proper ‘Hello’. I will miss his snuggles, he’s cute Ewok face and his friendly and loving personality. I will miss seeing him perched on the back of the couch watching the world go by outside. So content he was just to be with us, and how sad he was to be left alone.
Thanks for all the years of love and snuggles, Scooter! RIP Scooter Bug!
I Am Grateful! How Are You?