There is one being who has made me the "mother" I am today. It is, surprisingly, not the MilShelb. It is their "Aunt Lily". Lily is my family's dog. She is the first dog I ever had. I cannot express the gratitude I have for her patience, love, loyalty, and devotion for me and my family. She taught me what it was like to truly love a dog. She taught me how to walk a dog, feed a dog, talk to a dog, and care for a dog. She taught me the meaning of the quote "blessed is he who has earned the love of an old dog." I am so blessed to have known Lily... to have loved her... to have been loved by her. Lily has been sick for a long time. She has had some health issues and they have slowly weakened her. She is old. She is tired. She is in pain. My parents have made the very difficult decision to have her put to sleep tomorrow. It breaks my heart to know that she will no longer be with us... but I understand the decision and am glad that she will no longer be in pain.
I went to visit her tonight. When I was leaving I told her how much I love her and she gave me a big wet kiss across my face. I will miss her greatly. I will miss her silly noises and those deep, soulful eyes.
Here is a poem I thought I'd share with you:
You can shed tears that she is gone,
Or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her,
Or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her only that she is gone,
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
Be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what she’d want:
Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.~David Harkins
A Parting Prayer
Dear Lord, please open your gates
and call St. Francis
to come escort this beloved companion
across the Rainbow Bridge.
Assign her to a place of honor,
for she has been a faithful servant
and has always done her best to please me.
Bless the hands that send her to you,
for they are doing so in love and compassion,
freeing her from pain and suffering.
Grant me the strength not to dwell on my loss.
Help me remember the details of her life
with the love she has shown me.
And grant me the courage to honor her
by sharing those memories with others.
Let her remember me as well
and let her know that I will always love her.
And when it's my time to pass over into your paradise,
please allow her to accompany those
who will bring me home.
Thank you, Lord,
for the gift of her companionship
and for the time we've had together.
And thank you, Lord,
for granting me the strength
to give her to you now.