Losing a beloved pet is hard. This past year we lost two such loves; Sammy, my daughter’s Black English Lab and Molly, who my daughter’s In-Laws, took in their home and their hearts. Both were rescues. Sammy’s original owner gave him up, as she could not take him with her to the retirement community and worked very hard to find him a loving family. Sammy became Tim’s shadow and received much love from the girls.
Sammy loved exploring the golf course that runs behind their property, but he never wandered up there when golfers were about. Winter was the time of sled rides down the rolling hills with the girls and Spring-time was for swims in the pond and chasing geese. Evenings were for Tim and playing fetch. Belly-rubs, love, care and Vet visits from his human Mommy. Sammy was the official greeter for us Grand-parents. As with all big dogs we had the usually thorough check and waited patiently for a welcoming pet. On occasion we would bring Mac our Airedale and he and Sammy would romp about and play exuberantly as only big dogs can. Mac still looks for Sammy and in his own way misses him.
Molly was from the Human Society of Talbot County. Tim’s parents had moved to the Eastern shore and Tim’s Dad, Bill had taken to going to the Human society and adopting kittens. Four in all and two of the kittens he brought up for the girls. These two cats the girls named Cookie and Wally. Cookie because she looked like an Oreo cookie and Wally, well they just liked the name. Wally an orange tabby has no fear of anyone or anything. He was Sammy’s buddy and could be found nearby Sammy when he was resting. Cookie can always be found hiding under one of the girls’ beds. Tim’s Dad last foray to the Humane Society to save more kittens, but this time his heart went out to a small black dog. We were not sure of her breed and figured she was a mix of a Shih Tzu and maybe Maltese or Yorkshire terrier. She was so tiny.
For Molly this was the best thing that could have happened for her. Her previous owners must have not known how to treat a sweet love like Molly. Holding her you could feel that almost every bone in her tiny little body had been broken and she had a great fear of men. In time she learned to love and trust Bill. But, mostly Molly could be found cuddling up in Jeanne’s lap. When Jeanne became very ill, Molly came to stay with Tim, Marilyn and the girls. The youngest, Carly carried Molly everywhere. And, at night Molly slept in Carly’s room. Molly had found a family that gave her plenty of love. In return she showed much love in return.
Jeanne’s illness had finally reached the level where she could not continue on and went into hospice to help her family take the steps to say their good byes. Molly mourned her Mistress, but found solace in spending her time between being with the girls and Bill.
Sammy had grown to be a very old boy. He could hardly move about and was in a lot of pain from the arthritis in his hips and legs. The Vet told them there was not much that could be done. Sammy was quite an old and lived a bit longer than most labs. Because of his age the best thing to do was help him cross to the Rainbow Bridge. Six months later Molly joined Sammy. The night she left for Rainbow Bridge she cuddled up with Bill and was in a lively mood for play. Bill put her in her comfy crate at the end of his bed and both went to sleep for the night. For Molly this was her final sleep. In the morning Bill found her curled up in her last sleep. Bill figured she missed Jeanne and decided that was where she was needed.
It was an honor to able to provide a painting of the beloved Sammy while he was still able to play and enjoy life that included a small vignette of him ready to play fetch with Tim. It is displayed upon the living room wall in a place of prominence. This is a memorial to a pet that gave love and received love. For Molly I did a pastel painting of her and Carly cuddled up together for Jeanne. Little did I know that this is a work of art would be for Bill to remember the little dog with a big heart.
I watch our Mac with his energetic joy for living and know that one day we too will need to say our good byes. Thus, we enjoy each day that we have him. We give him all the love we can, play with him every day and enjoy watching him entertain us with his Airedale antics. Thus, I have created paintings and drawings showing each stage of Mac’s life. They serve as reminders of Mac the puppy, now Mac the young dog.
Contact Ellie to learn more about making memories of your four-legged family members. firstname.lastname@example.org
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