Hi there. Remember me? It’s Russ, and boy, it’s been a while.
I haven’t written anything here in a few years (really? years?). Yup. Years.
But I do want to thank Vanessa for keeping the page active and posting quick updates on our little homestead. Much has happened here but I really haven’t been very motivated to post for a while. Nothing personal – just busy I suppose. Perhaps I’ll get back into it again after this one and bring you along for a spell. We’ll see.
Today I’m even less in the mood to write about life here. So instead, I’m just going to post this letter from my best friend….
I’m not sure how to do this. I’ve never even attempted anything like this before, but if there ever was a time to try, it’s now.
Thirteen years ago, I was sitting in the backyard of some people I knew. All my siblings were taken away by some strangers and I was alone. I cried out a little but I was very small and no one heard me.
I saw a big man and a lady with a warm smile coming towards me. The big man looked a bit scary, but when he bent down to me, touched my head and simply said “hey buddy,” I could tell he was a nice guy.
Before I knew it, the lady with the warm smile and the big man picked me up and took me out of my backyard. I wasn’t so sure about this. I whimpered a little, but I knew it wasn’t any good, these strangers were taking me away like others took my brothers and sisters. I could only hope for the best.
That was my very first ride in a car. The big man sat to my right and I sat in the lady’s lap. Oh boy, did I cry! It was so scary. And I had a lot to drink. I can’t believe I accidentally peed in the lady’s lap! I was worried they’d be upset, but they actually laughed. That made me feel better.
They took me to their home and said this would also be my new home. She called herself “Mom” and the big man was “Dad”. They started calling me “Murdoch” which I though sounded really cool.
Both Mom and Dad were so kind to me. They would give me lots of treats, belly rubs and play with me. Dad especially loved to throw my toys around so I would constantly bring them to him so he could throw them over and over.
So I then decided to make it my mission in life to always make them happy. It wasn’t hard, this was a happy place.
So this is where I grew up for my early years – at their house in the city. It was great. I had my own fenced yard to keep me safe. We would sit with each other on the big deck Dad built and we went for walks every day around the neighborhood. I knew this made them happy.
But I especially loved when we would get in the car (I quickly got over my fear) and we would whisk away on another adventure. Mom and Dad had their seat, and I had mine. Sometimes we would go to a nearby park where I was allowed to run without a leash for as much as I wanted. Sometimes we would go further away and live outside for the weekend in the forest. Oh, I loved those trips! This made them very happy!
I never really knew where we were going, but always loved the ride. I wasn’t nearly as small as I was for my first car ride, but Mom still invited to me crawl up on her lap so I could stick my head out the window! Sometimes even Dad and Mom would switch seats so I could sit on Dad’s lap to look out the window. Not only were they happy, but I was too.
One day we got in the car for a ride. I had no idea it was going to be so long. We drove for what seemed an eternity and came to a big island. We spent a few days there, just driving around and looking at the beautiful scenery. I had never seen a place with so much wide-open space and water everywhere. I loved it here. And that made Mom and Dad happy because they said its our new home.
So that’s where I finished growing up and started growing old. I missed my away-family but from time to time, we went back to visit them or they came to see us. That made everyone happy too.
I loved our new home. There was so much space for me to run and play. Our yard was huge! And better yet, just behind where we lived were trails and we would walk for miles and miles trough the forest and fields. There was a nearby river where we would go fishing and sandy beaches where we’d go swimming. (By the way, if you ever come here, don’t drink the water at the beach – terribly salty!)
Every day was an adventure and I loved spending time with Dad and Mom. In fact, I think there wasn’t a day that we weren’t together in thirteen years! I always did my best to make them happy.
But as I grew older, and the fur on my face got whiter, our activities changed. I walked more than I ran on the trails. When we went to the beach I’d rather walk along the edge of the water instead of swim. And instead of following Mom and Dad everywhere in the garden, I would sometime just sit and watch them work. Dad would look at me sometimes and say something like “it’s OK pal, you can just hang it here if you want. Just relax”.
What I wanted was to make them happy and show them that I loved them as much as they loved me. That was tough, because we loved each other a lot!
I knew I would grow old someday, but I was surprised by how fast it happened. Mom and Dad still included me in as much as possible. Our walks turned into drives around the island. I still got to stick my head out the window, though. I was happy with that now.
But I wondered sometimes if I still made Mom and Dad happy. They would smile and talk to me and tell me “what a good boy” I was. But their eyes had a little sadness behind them. I hope I wasn’t making them sad. So I’d still bring Dad one of my toys and I would try to play tug for a few minutes, but I got tired so fast. I wanted to hang out with Mom as she worked around the house and garden, but I was more comfortable on my bed so I often stayed there. It was easier and they didn’t seem to mind. I’d still get my treats and belly rubs even if I wasn’t the small, active puppy they brought home so many years ago.
A couple days ago I started feeling really bad. Really, really bad. My legs felt so weak and I didn’t feel like eating anything. Mom and Dad looked very concerned so I did my best. I ate one cookie they offered and I went outside to do “my business” even tough I hurt a little. Mom and Dad looked sad but they still told me I was a good boy and they loved me anyhow.
For the first time I couldn’t go upstairs to bed with them. Instead of being alone, Dad slept next to me on the sofa downstairs. He held his hand out so I could feel he was next to me. The next morning, Dad helped me outside and back in. I took a drink of water but still wasn’t hungry. I slept on my bed all day. Mom checked on me and gave me hugs. Even though I couldn’t do anything, they still told me I was a good boy and loved me. But they looked so sad.
The last night I spent with Mom and Dad was terribly hard. I felt the need to go out but I could hardly stand. This time both Mom and Dad helped me outside using a blanket as a sling to carry me off the deck and onto the grass. They were so kind and loving as I stumbled around. They had to carry me back to the house. I felt so bad. I know I’m a big boy. They laid me back on my bed and again, Dad sat up with me in the living room all night. I fell asleep with him stroking my face and talking to me.
I had to go out again two more times that night and each time, Mom got up and came down to help Dad bring me out. I was so exhausted each time. Mom and Dad looked so sad and tired. They told me they loved me, but I wasn’t able to make them happy now. I slept next to Dad until morning.
Mom and Dad laid next to me on the floor the next morning and kept telling me how special I was to them and how much they loved me. I wished I could tell them the same. I just slowly wagged my tail with each hug. That made them smile.
I couldn’t even stand this morning. I was so tired and weak feeling. Mom brought me my water bowl and I had a good drink. They got me ready and said we’re going for a ride in the car. Honestly, I just wanted to lie on my bed, but if that’s what they wanted, I would. I just want them to be happy. They carried me out to the van and laid me on a blanket and off we went.
We ended up at my favorite beach where we walked, swam and played when I was feeling better. Dad stopped the car and opened the van door. He knew I couldn’t walk so we all just sat together looking out over the water and smelling the cool ocean air. I don’t think my nose stopped sniffing the whole time! This was a good idea and we were all happy and sad at the same time.
Our last stop was to a building I had never been at in the city. It’s been a long time since I was in such a busy place. Two ladies came out and spoke with us. They were very friendly and petted my head. They brought a cart on wheels that they laid me onand into the building we went.
I met so many new people there and everyone was so kind. We all went back to a comfy room where we all sat on the floor. The ladies put something in my arm and we waited for another person. Mom and Dad were lying next to me again and petting me. I tried to make them happy with another tail-wag but they were so sad now. The last lady came in and spoke with Mom and Dad. She did something with the thing in my arm.
Dad held my head and looked me in the eye and said “you’re such a good boy” and gave me a kiss on the forehead. Mom leaned in and whispered in my ear “I love you, Murdoch.” They hugged me tight and as I got sleepy, they said “you’ve brought to much joy to our lives and made us SO HAPPY!”
So I fell asleep knowing that they loved me as much as I loved them. And I made them happy.
I don’t know if Mom and Dad end up coming to the same place I’ve gone, but I’ll be here eagerly waiting to greet them with a wagging tail and all my love again.
Words can’t express how much I miss this guy tonight. Love you, my buddy. You’re such a good boy!