I said goodbye to one of my basset hounds last week. It broke my heart and I’m still not 100% sure I’m ready to talk about it. Freddie was something special and anyone that met him knew it.
Anyone that has a dog understands the special relationship you have with them. It’s something you can’t quite put into words. Dogs love you unconditionally. They brighten even the darkest day. They make you smile when all you want to do is cry. They make life better.
Freddie was all those things and so much more. He was the one we’d constantly be scolding. He was the one that always had to bark, or get into something or just do the complete opposite of whatever we wanted him to do. He was a happy dog, always looking for attention. He was smart and curious and had a personality that you couldn’t help but love. If he could reach you, he’d always be happiest licking your face and turning over so you could rub his belly. He was fun.
Two weeks ago he was fine one minute and the next he wasn’t. He went from seeming perfectly normal to not being able to walk with his back legs within a 24 hour span. He was in a lot of pain and discomfort and no matter what we tried, we weren’t able to get him to a point where he was feeling better. After a week of tests, tons of medications and no sleep, we had to make the tough decision knowing he wasn’t going to get better. Our Vet made the process as easy as it could be and we had time to say our goodbyes.
For anyone that has visited the shop in the past several years, you’ve most likely met Freddie. He was always willing to make a new friend and often did. From eating “fishies” to sitting at someone’s feet for a head scratch, he always wanted to be involved in whatever was going on. He just wanted to be where everyone else was, to be part of the “party” we’d always say. He loved people.
He was that way at home too. He was the leader of the pack, the alpha, the trouble-maker #1 and our other dogs followed along no matter what Freddie was up to.
We didn’t pick Freddie. He was chosen for us, for our family by the rescue organization he came from. It took me a little longer to bond with him compared to any of our other dogs, but I think our bond was stronger for it. He leaves a big hole; the other dogs seem a little lost, less organized, less lively.
There is a part of me that feels that way too because we were buddies. We’d go on long walks together, we’d play tennis ball in the hallway, we play hide and seek through our first floor. We had lots of things that we’d do together that no one else did.
Sure, he was just a dog. Life goes on and I’m sure there will be other dogs in our life some day. The sadness will lessen and we will laugh as we reminisce about all the crazy things Freddie did. Freddie’s life was short but I’m so glad he got to spend it with us.