Goodbye to a Friend
About 2 weeks ago I had to say goodbye to a dear, old friend.
He had been with me for a long time, and I didn’t even realize how deeply he had penetrated my heart, how much of who I am is connected to times he was with me.
Snuffy was our family dog for 17 years. We got him as a sweet fluffy puppy as soon as he was old enough to leave his mother, and he entered our family as my oldest son’s 6th birthday present.
Snuffy was an adventurer – he loved escaping from the garden and wandering around.. he never realized how much trouble he almost got into. We used to say we should have named him Houdini.. He went with us on endless picnics and hikes, and never ever begged for scraps.
In the last couple of months I found myself stopping near where he lay down, hardly moving any more, and saying thank you. Thank you for realizing when I was sad, or when one of the kids was sad, and going over quietly to comfort.
Thank you for being such a good introduction to dogs for oh so many kids who used to be afraid before they met him.
Thank you for making the house seem less empty on those long shabbatot when the boys (then the only kids) were away.
But most of all, thank you for helping me raise them – all of them.
Snuffy helped me teach my kids things like responsibility, the power of existing beside even when nothing is said, unconditional love, manners (!), the transition into old age, attentiveness, selflessness, care and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes in a way I could not have taught without him.
There can be no replacement for an old friend. Someone who knows you through several transitions, in many forms and multiple situations. I knew him, and he knew me. And it’s so hard to say goodbye. This was one of the hardest decisions of my life, even though I know it was time, it really had to be done. Prolonging or delaying would solve nothing and only cause more pain in the end. We did the right thing for him, even if it felt like it was oh, just a tiny bit too early for me.
Goodbye, old friend.
Thank you again.
You will always have a place in my heart.