"To get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy, and prospectively, to equally profound sadness." ~ Marjorie Garber
Walter had been suffering from arthritis and I was tirelessly trying to control it with medicine and acupuncture and other therapies that might help his mobility and ease his pain. Although it was somewhat helpful for a while, his tired legs and spine could no longer hold him up and his anxiety level had risen to a point of concern. I had a hard time trying to lift him up to go potty and even then, he could not stand long enough to finish. It was heartbreaking. I had that difficult conversation with my Vet about the inevitable. It was Walter's time to meet Henry over the rainbow. And once again, only two months after losing Henry, I was saying goodbye to Walter.
Walter was the sweetest and kindest dog I have ever met. He was happy to take a back seat to Henry. He absorbed every joy and every sorrow because of his empathetic nature. He rarely left my side - always wanting to be at my feet, his body touching mine in some way. He welcomed everyone he met with warmth and a gentle lean and a wag of his tail. He had a child-like innocence about him all the way until his 12th year and beyond. Walter was a true-blue, supportive companion and was always there to give me comfort when comfort was needed. He was pure love. I miss him so much.
When Walter breathed his last breath, I was holding him tight, whispering love songs into his ear. I closed my eyes and saw Henry running up to greet him and they were smiling. They were no longer in pain and no longer of this earth. But they still live in my heart. They will always live in my heart.
The healing of the heart sometimes feels insurmountable. Fortunately, the heart is resilient. It mends. Perhaps, it even grows a little in the process.
It's already 2016 and the time has moved so swiftly. I have had my two new little muppets - Raleigh and Izzy - in my life for over a year now. All is well. Both of them ran out of time at a shelter, and luckily, they were rescued.
And then, they rescued me.