I woke up Sunday morning to an unusually quiet house. No scratching at the door no whinning to be let out. Filled with dread I walked around the house till I found him on the stairs. I pleaded with God to let him be just sleeping but I knew he was not. I called to him and then went and patted his head but there was no responce. He was gone. I am not sure if he fell down the stairs and died, died and fell down the stairs, or if he just fell asleep there and died, but thats where I found him. I know he was 17 and I knew he was dying. The vet told me months ago to put him down. I couldn't bear the thought of him being gone then and I HATE it now that it has come to pass.
I knew we would have to bury him before the kids got up; I didn't want them to see him like that. My husband and I carried him out under the aspen trees and laid him to rest there. I was crying too hard to be of much help but I did what I could. We were not quite done when I heard the kids were up . I went in and told them and got them dressed. We all went out to say our good byes. He was gone.
I know he was 17 and that is really old for a dog but I still loved him and thought (foolishly) he was getting better. But I was wrong. He knew he was dying and he did not want to come in that night, he always wanted to come in, that was not like him at all. I should have known, but I had my blinders on. He hadn't eaten that night and his bowl is still full. I can't seem to go put it all away. I know he is gone but I don't want hime to be. I have had him longer than I have been married, longer than I have had kids. He was my first baby. With his unconditional love and his constant protection and devotion he was my friend.
My husband just wants a dog in the house. He dosen't get too attached. He wanted to go that day and get "a dog". A replacement. A dog so I am not alone, for protection, and as an early warning system for the bears and mountain lions in our area. And in the most practical sence I know a dog is a good animal to have around but I don't know if I can go through this experience again. I loved that dog. He was a part of my family not just a dog, not just a pet. I grieve for him, I cry for his loss. I dont want "a dog" I want my Bradley back.
I am sure my husband or my kids will bring home a dog some day all too soon; but he will not be a replacement, not for Bradley, he can't be replaced. The "new dog" will be a faimly pet, not "mom's dog". I just hope I can love this new dog half as much as I loved my Bradley; if so, in time, we will all be fine. I am just not ready yet.