Wednesday, September 28, 2011

TRIBUTE TO A FRIEND

"My little dog ~ a heartbeat at my feet."  ~ Edith Wharton

Last night was all too quiet in our home. The absence of our dog Nathan's soothing snores made it hard to fall asleep. I hadn't realized the lulling affect that his rhythmic sleeping had on my own. I closed my eyes and tried to will myself into a slumber, but my mind was on overdrive...my heart, too.

Yesterday we had to say goodbye to our beloved four legged family member. As we watched him take his last breath, I was overcome by so many emotions ~ gratitude for eleven years with our loving companion...appreciation for his faithful affection...peace knowing that we had lavished him with love...and deep sadness that it was time to say goodbye.

Nathan was a character. A pure bred champion Daschund, he had his stubborn, dignified side. He wasn't much of a lap dog ~ he was far too mature and sophisticated to climb onto a lap. But the truth is that Nathan was a softy. He always seemed to know when I was down or upset, and he made it his job to stay by my side and offer any comfort he could. He was a fierce protector ~ ask anyone who's been to our house! It was no easy task to navigate around Nathan if he deemed you untrustworthy.

I often referred to Nathan as my shadow because he followed me from room to room throughout the day. Even when asleep, he would sense my absence when I left the room, and would rouse himself and come looking for me.

Nathan's serious side had its counterpart ~ those who knew Nathan well remember his love for the chase game. When he was feeling particularly playful, he would flip back his ears and choose a player, enticing them to chase him around our dining room table. His favorite move was one he knew we humans couldn't master ~ a change in direction under the protective covering of the dining room chairs. His tail wagged furiously, and he smiled from ear to ear during those chases.

Nathan loved bacon, walks, racing after squirrels, his bed and blanky, and our cat Summer. He hated the mailman, the rain, baths, and suitcases, because he knew they meant we'd be leaving for a while.

Here's to Nathan, and to all the dogs who add so much color, life, and pleasure to our lives. You will never be forgotten, for you are permanently etched upon my heart.           

"Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet."  ~Colette

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