Before I was born, my family had a boxer dog named Butch. He was the crown jewel of the family, or so I have been told. My mother told me that Butch could do no wrong but eventually, time has that funny way of going a lot faster than it should and before long, they had to say goodbye to Butch.
My grandfather was the most outstanding man to ever come into my life. He loved all of us with all of his heart and was larger than life to me. Tall, rugged, handsome is how I would describe him. Stoic to a fault but strong is a word I would use. My grandpa loved Butch and when Butch died, my mother told me, he was inconsolable. Torn apart at the lost of the beloved family dog. He was so powerful to me, that the image of him crying made him more of a hero to me.
When I had to say goodbye to my dog, Lillie, on Sunday, I was the same way. My shirt, soaked, because I sat in the room and cried for an hour and I couldn’t stop crying. I think the wonderful staff at the vet’s office was worried I was going to pass out. All the emotions of bringing her home, playing with the kids, loving on the kids, protecting the kids, playing with my mother before she got sick and on and on and on.
Sunday night, around 8, I sat on my coach, emotionally exhausted. Drained. Nothing left in me, emotionally, or physically. I had posted on Facebook earlier about losing my dog and as I opened my laptop and went to my page, I got another lump in my throat.
I saw hundreds and hundreds of messages from friends, family, people I have known for years, people who I have never met and everything in between. They were sharing stories about how they were when they lost their pets but not so much about the end; it was more on the absolute joy their dogs and cats had brought them through the years.
I read them all, every single message and tried to respond to just about every single note. Posts on FB, tweets, Instagram, text messages and emails were coming in and the more I read, the more I understood how great people truly are.
There are still moments in the past few days I have found myself lost in thought of what Lillie meant to me and they are all great memories.
A friend of mine sent me this, and it is so true. “Every dog that is born is looking for a hero, You were hers.”
Thank you, Lillie, and thank you, dear friends.