Our beloved dog died last week.
Tyson was our eight-year-old Chocolate Lab, who had been with my husband and I since the very beginning of our relationship. I met Chris in January, 2004, and he got Tyson in March. My friends tease that I married my husband for his dog; they were a package deal. Tyson was with us through the start of our marriage, my graduation from Chiropractic College, the start of a business, a move, and two babies. He has comforted me through heartache and celebrated with me through triumph. Now that he’s gone there is an emptiness in my heart.
He was euthanized on Tuesday afternoon, after suffering a massive, brain-damaging seizure that morning. There are a few blessings in this scenario, in a silver-lining kind of way: 1) Tyson had three smaller seizures over the course of the last two weeks, so we had time to mentally prepare ourselves for this inevitable end, 2) the choice to euthanize was a clear one. There are no ‘what-ifs’ or ‘should-haves’; in the end, Tyson was not the dog we knew and loved, and 3) my kids are not old enough to be emotionally distraught over the loss of their friend.
Tyson enriched our lives in countless ways, and this is what I will miss:
- I will miss seeing his happy, tail-wagging self when I come home.
- I will miss having him by our side on after-dinner walks.
- I will miss seeing my son laugh at his high-fives, sit-stays, and rollover tricks.
- I will miss seeing my daughter watch his every move.
- I will miss exploring the trails in our neighborhood with him.
- I will miss my son referring to us as a family of five.
- I will miss watching him chase sticks through the creek.
- I will miss having to store every morsel of food above shoulder-level.
- I will miss him alerting us to visitors with a bark and a race to the door.
- I will miss the kindness, compassion, and responsibility that he taught my kids.
- I will miss his gentle nature.
- I will miss him running around the backyard while we play.
- I will miss the warmth, love, and comforting energy that he brought to our home.
We are going to spread his ashes through his favorite running trails, and we’ll hang a cross on our backyard fence in remembrance of him. We will miss him, but we will not forget him. Farewell, our loyal friend. R.I.P.