Goodbyes are Never Easy

Yesterday was quite possibly one of the hardest days of my life.  My beloved Beagle, Jasper left us.  He was 12 years old, and the best friend I’ve ever known.  He was the doggie love of my life.  He helped me raise my Rowland, he taught me patience and understanding and that I could love unconditionally.  We shared many years of 4-H together and attended many shows and fairs.  I still cannot believe it’s real.  I’m having a hard time believing that we buried him yesterday afternoon, in the part of my dad’s back yard that he loved the most, and next to a Lilac bush.  I couldn’t bring myself to touch him or see him before we let him go.  It was much to painful to see him that way.  But what really broke my heart is when we were all in the operating room, even though he was under anesthesia (he was in surgery) his heart rate picked up as if he was excited we were all there.  I will remember that moment for as long as I live. 

It’s incredible the memories that flood back when you lose something you love.  Memories that had been suppressed for years and all but forgotten come back to the forefront of my mind.  Like the first time he sat up on his back legs and begged for food.  Or the times he would attack my bear feet slippers.  There was a time he dressed up as turtle for the costume competition for 4-H and he hated it.  But boy was he cute.  He was also a hot dog that year, and he knocked the socks off of the judges.  He was quite possibly the smartest dog I’ve ever worked with and he had an aresenal of tricks.  He would pull each of them out one after the other for the chance at a morsel of whatever you were eating.  He was our little Hoover vacuum.  He was my Beagle Boy.

Jasper was most definitely a once in a lifetime type of dog.  No dog will ever come close to him, and as much emptiness and pain that my heart is feeling right now I know that I will some day look back on all of my memories during the last 12 years and I will be able to put a smile on my face, knowing that I had the opportunity to love and learn from one of God’s great works.

No, goodbyes are never easy, I will be the first to admit.  And though I may think I’ll stick with solely puppy raising, and never actually own a dog again I know I would be lying to myself.  I was meant to spend my life with a dog, and though the end of the journey is difficult, the moments in between are more than worth it.  Rest easy my Duggan.  Until we meet at the Rainbow Bridge.


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