Thank you Friendo!
It was Valentine's day 15 years ago that Karina and I bought our first baby, Friendo, a palm sized white and black Jack Russel.
Friendo was the centre of our life as we got our introductory lesson in responsibility for a dependent and the meaning of unconditional love.
Friendo was the catalyst for many amazing stories, and some less so.
Watching him instigate dozens of fights with large dog breeds over the years. (he never really accepted his 20 pound size disadvantage.)
Apologizing for the several children he bit over the years (mostly cousins… never too seriously…he could be a bit crotchety!)
He may be the only dog to appear in the church directory. (photo #2)
Friendo’s age and failing kidneys eventually caught up with him and although we knew the end was approaching I could not believe the weight of sadness that gripped me when the time was at hand.
Our household had a night of teary good-byes and the hardest morning of our family life.
I could not hold him, or kiss his soft head enough times.
While reflecting on this emotional hardship I realized that the deep level of sadness was indicative of the strength of our love and how powerful our 15 years together had been.
Like the end of an amazing holiday, I took in every fur on Friendo’s back like a waning sunset, burning it into my mind, wishing for another run, play, or snuggle together.
My lessons from this tough week are:
Every moment is precious, focus your intensity of listening and love into every interaction. I am happy knowing that I savoured every drop possible from our 15 years together.
The small ‘inconveniences’ are the things I now miss, the puppy underfoot, the tapping toes waking me at night, the extra trips to doggy daycare (Papa’s farm).
I have new empathy for other peoples’ loss, I’ve previously been ‘cold’ and pragmatic about pet death and have a new appreciation of the emotional impact of such a seemingly small event.
Friendo brought so much joy to so many lives.
To the greatest companion a family will ever know,
See you again one day my Friendo!
Now that’s a peak ethos.