I Will Remember You

I will remember you

Will you remember me

Don’t let your life pass you by

Grieve not for the memories

Sara McLauchlan

Today I said goodbye to the best friend I have ever had. He has been with me for many many years and has seen the best and the worst in me. He was by my side when I buried my father, he curled up beside me years ago when I almost broke from withdrawals. His happy wag greeted me every morning, a gental nudge for a pat on the head. My connection to my dog was stronger than any other, deeper than words could say. This loss may never leave me yet I feel fortunate for having been blessed with such a loving companion.

When he drew his last breath today my heart broke, my will almost failed me, but I know it was time to say goodbye. His body was failing but he still had the same zest for life as the puppy I met so long ago and that’s part of what made it so hard. We could learn a lot about life from a dog. These last few days were so painful for both of us, but I’m so glad we had time to say goodbye. I had to choose my father’s last day, I may have to choose my mothers, and today I had to choose my best friends last day. Life is hard but one must live it.

You don’t always get time to say goodbye to the ones you love, so if you do you must never let that moment pass you by. I hesitated with my father until it was too late, and I will regret that until I die. My mother knows how much I care, and I will be there for her until the end, and I think in his own way my best friend knew also. I would like to think this is what he would have said about today…

My master woke me today as he always does. A gental shake and a pat on the head. I took my pills as I always do and ate my morning bowl of kibble. We go outside and he holds me up as I’m almost blind now and I can no longer walk by myself. Even so the breeze feels great on my fur, and the smells still trigger memories of leaves played in and beaches walked on.

We take a drive and he holds me up so I can feel the wind on my face from the open window. I can’t see the people but I’m sure they are there. I bark and bark to let everyone know this is my Jeep and they better not approach! I’m still in charge after all! We go to a park for a walk but it’s not so easy anymore. The arthritis in my back makes walking impossible lately and my hind legs won’t hold me up. I have to sit down a lot and my master rubs my back for me. It feels so good I lay on my side for a moment. I try to walk some more then go back to the Jeep. What is this? My favorite treats by the handful! What did I do to deserve this! I wish I knew so I could do it more often!

We drive to a store and he gets some lunch. Still more treats! But there’s something wrong! I’m a dog so I don’t quite understand, but my doggie senses tell me my master is unhappy. Even though we are having fun, my master keeps hugging me and crying. I lick his face and realize tears are salty. He laughs and hugs me some more. I’m not sure why he is hugging me so much but I like it anyway. We take another drive, I love riding in the Jeep. This ride is a little longer and I’m tired so I curl up beside him and take a nap. He puts his hand on my side and I feel safe and secure. I sleep a lot now yet I never seem totally rested anymore. Each day it’s a little harder to get up, each day my senses fail a little more. But, because I’m a dog, I just make the best of it and trust my master to help me.

When I wake we are at my doctors office. I like her because she is so gental and kind. I have had many doctors but she makes me feel at ease unlike some of the others. My master talks to me and tells me how much he loves me. It seems silly to me as I have always known he does by the way he treats me. He tells me he has decided this is my last day. He tells me I will be cremated and I will go with him on his adventures. I’m not sure what that means but anything I do with him is fine by me.

He hugs me and cries really hard this time. What’s wrong? I feel uncomfortable but my master says everything will be OK. I trust him so I calm down. He takes me around the yard for a bit and I expect we will go inside. But wait, my doctor is coming out to the Jeep! Is she going with us for a ride? That would be fun! She gets in the Jeep and sits down. She talks to my master, then he sets me in his lap. He pats me and tells me goodbye, but where am I going? Wherever it is I will be waiting for him to pick me up and hug me again.

My doctor gives me a shot. They sting but I don’t flinch. I have had many in my lifetime and if my master is here it must be OK.  I’m getting sooo sleepy now. My master is holding me so I know I am safe. I’ll just take a little nap, but I know he will be there to rub my back when I wake up. Goodnight master.  

Goodnight Vinny, sleep well. Go find grandpa Vinny, he could use a friend right now. Help him find grandma when her time comes and I will find you all when I get there, I know you will be waiting for me. I love you all and wish I could have done more.

14 thoughts on “I Will Remember You

  1. John, this was so difficult to read through the tears, and it must have been almost impossible for you to write. Even though we know that this moment comes to us all, and comes to our faithful companions, it is such a painful decision to have to take. You knew it had to be, and you were able to give Vinny such great love and friendship right up to the end of his marvellous life with you. Run free Vinny!


  2. Listen to Dan Rea on WBZ 1030 when he ends his show just before midnight . You two have something in common. Then turn up Simon and Garfunkel’s “I Am A Rock” …


      1. Cool, I love that attitude-
        I have a friend who’s also a follower of this blog that wants to bring his boat to New England/Maine next season, suggestions? Also, can you give us an estimate on how much it would be to truck his 35 foot boat from Maine to Southern California? I can put him directly in touch with you if you need the details-


  3. Even though I already knew I am blinded by helpless tears reading this. Go softly, my friend, hold Vinny safely in your heart as you travel on your earthly journey knowing he’ll be right there waiting patiently with Grampa and Grandma when you get there many moons from now. I send you all the love I have in my quirky dog-loving heart ?


  4. I’m writing this through tears and I can barely read my own words. This was such a beautifully written post John, such a heartfelt tribute, as hard as it was to read it. So sad, so incredibly heartbreaking for you but you were lucky to have each other. Vinny had a good life with you. Cherish these memories and hold them close. Let them comfort you and know too that I’m sending you a big hug from downunder.


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