To say my life hasn't had its fill of challenges is an understatement. But this week was the hardest.
I had to say good-bye to the best friend I've ever had.
We got P-man when he was 10 weeks old. He was our first anniversary present. I can't believe we didn't have a dog sooner than that, but it was the best decision we ever made. He was a sweetheart and very much a puppy. He pooped on Dr T's leg the second morning we had him; T was trying to carry him outside. We tried to crate-train him at night AFTER he'd been sleeping in our bed, which was a terrible idea. Eventually--like 10 minutes eventually--he took over our bed and our lives.
He was diagnosed with hip-dysplasia at four months. As we were deciding whether to go through an expensive hip surgery or not, we realized that he was going to be a part of our family for a long time and he was worth the expense. He was more than just a dog to us for the past 12 years. He had birthday parties and puppy play-dates. He was the perfect combination of lazy and excited. He kept the floors clean of food and intimidated anyone who knocked on our door with his sheer size and drooliness.
In short, he was awesome.
When we brought L.E. home, he adapted beautifully. We tried not to treat him any differently and he learned pretty quickly that things were changed. He didn't bark hardly ever and he always let us know when he thought something was wrong with L.E. When she was learning to crawl, he got so excited that he accidentally knocked her over. He was more upset about it than she was.
He was never just a pet. He was our kid, our boy, our P-Man.
I won't go into detail about the last few days but suffice to say I could look into his eyes and know it was time.
So we did the grown-up, responsible thing. We saw him through to the end.
When L.E. asked where he was, I told her God needed some help watching over her so he asked P-man to help him. She smiled and said, "OK. Can I have a popsicle?"
I hope she never has to do this grown-up responsible thing until she's actually a grown-up. There are lots of things in life that kids should face head-on. This is not one of them.
Good-bye, my friend. Thank you for your comfort, your loyalty, your compassion, your devotion and your amazing ability to keep me warm. I'll miss you terribly and I will never forget you.