Handsome to the end.
Yesterday evening, my sweet dog, Ranger, was delivered to heaven.
It happened like this. He lay on a soft blue rug in the middle of our family room floor, with all of his family gathered around him. We gently petted him, held him, rubbed him just the way he liked, and whispered encouragements to him as his heart rate fell away and he breathed his last.
We knew this was his day. He struggled in the early morning, and I didn't expect him to make it till noon. But he found more strength, and napped peacefully for most of the day. By evening, things took a bad turn and the end was clearly near. Hoping to track down a vet who made house calls, I called my dear friend and veterinarian, Jackie, who offered to race to her office, an hour's drive away, and bring us the medicine to help his transition along.
But Ranger passed quickly and peacefully before she arrived.
I could not be more proud of my boy. He was gentle and tender to the end. My heart breaks to lose him but his body was all used up and he needed to go. My tears fall freely but I smile to think of him romping through heaven, whole and healed, with every doggy playmate he ever loved.
I smile to think of my mom, who surely welcomed him to heaven with open arms and a handful of treats. Or maybe a steak.
Surely there are plenty of steaks for good dogs in heaven.
I thank God for the tremendous blessing of sharing my life with Ranger. My dog and I had a special bond; Ranger adored everyone but I'm humbled to say that he loved me most of all. I will always carry his love in my heart but now I must face the task of living without him at my side.
What gives me great peace and joy is knowing that he never had to live without me.