Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Release the Hounds

To My Neighbor and Friend,

Today, you said goodbye to your beloved dog--
Your best friend,
Car companion,
Walk buddy,
Cancer remedy,
Your great big golden Lab of love.
You told the vet in a shallow voice, "Yes, now."  And you let, you watched, your heard him go.
And now your days are dark,
Lonely, long and listless.
No click clack on the wooden floor.
No lick lap in the bowl.
No pant, shake, whine or bark.
It's so quiet -- too quiet,
Except in your mind which clatters with memories, regrets, wishes and questions.
"Did I do it too soon?"
"Can it really be true?"
It will always be too soon, my friend,
And you will never fully believe that he is gone,
But you must believe that when you set him free of his pain, when you let him go -
This was the last gift you gave your precious pup.
I know it's hard to believe.  It wasn't like the other gifts you gave him.
It didn't squeak. 
It wasn't fluffy or furry. 
It didn't bounce. 
It wasn't chewey, meaty or salty. 
And it wasn't easy to give. 
But it was a gift of love.
And now, my friend, there are a few gifts you need to give yourself --
The gift of JOY remembering the fifteen years you shared;
The gift of PEACE knowing he is pain free;
The gift of HOPE realizing that the same God who sees the sparrow fall
Certainly saw your best friend take his final breath today,
And that somehow, someway, someday,
When we burst through heaven's doors
He will release the hounds
And all the pups we've said goodbye to over the years will bound toward us
Greeting us as they always do
With licks and leaps,
Eager eyes,
Wagging tails and tongues,
Welcoming us home.

To Karen in loving memory of Skyler who, on February 4th, joined Carmela, Sammy, Susie, Minnie, and so many others in the green fields of the great beyond.

-Hope A. Horner
Twitter: @HopeNote

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