I lost my sweet, beloved Sheltie Lacey to cancer today. Life had ceased to be a thing of joy and adventure and instead become full of lassitude and pain, so I elected to end her suffering and set her feet onto the Rainbow Bridge. I know she waits for me, happy and whole, and will be wondering what takes me so long.

She was my nurse dog, always first on the scene to investigate and treat any owies with a good licking and gentle nudging. For a long time she shared a pillow on my bed, keeping away nightmares, until arthritis made it too difficult to jump that high up. She was my intrepid adventurer, sneaking out of the fence on voyages of exploration, assisted by kind neighbors returning her home when they found my phone number on her collar. And she was my four-legged alarm system, alerting to any suspicious activity in a two-block area like it was her own personal front yard. Then too she would perform her duties as the welcome wagon at the vets as we waited our turn, going around the room to visit with everyone, two-legged or four.

She taught me patience, unconditional love, and the power of cheese. I will be lost without her. I have her collar in my purse and it will be going up around her picture- it still carries her scent. I got a few strands of her beautiful orange and white fur as a memento as well. But nothing takes the ache away, only time. This poem helps a bit, as well-

The Loss of a Heart-Dog

I stood by your bed last night,
I came to have a peep
I could see that you were crying,
you found it hard to sleep

I whined to you softly as
you brushed away a tear,
“it’s me, I haven’t left,
I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here”

I was close to you at breakfast,
I watched you pour the tea
You were thinking of the many times,
your hands reached down to me

I was with you at the shops today,
your arms were getting sore
I longed to take your parcels,
I wish you could do more

I was with you at my grave today,
you tend it with such care
I want to reassure you,
that I’m not lying there

I walked with you towards the house,
as you fumbled for your key
I gently put my paw on you,
I smiled and said “it’s me”

You look so very tired,
and sank into a chair
I tried so hard to let you know,
that I was standing there

It’s possible for me,
to be so near you everyday
To say to you with certainty,
“I never went away”

You sat there very quietly,
then smiled, I think you knew
In the stillness of that evening,
I was very close to you

The day is over,
I smile and watch you yawning
And say “goodnight, God bless,
I’ll see you in the morning”

And when the time is right for you
to cross the brief divide,
I’ll rush across to greet you
and we’ll stand, side by side

I have so many things to show you,
there is so much for you to see
Be patient, live your journey out,
then come home to be with me.

– Author Unknown

That consoles me, that I will see her faithful soul running towards me again up there. It must be a wonderful place. Two things though I hope they got straight: dogs need to live as long as we humans do, and God needs to let dogs sit on the sofa in Heaven. It’s much homier that way.