Sweet Soul

You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can decide how you’re going to live. Now. ~ Joan Baez

It has been a rough morning around this place I call home. Waking to our very old and sweet dog not doing well. I am able to write now because after making him scrambled eggs, which he ate and then his own dog food, some water, and visited outside, he is lying next to me on his comfy bed and seems for the moment to not be suffering.

He now has a second comfy bed to lie on during the day so that his old bones can have a little rest. He has parathyroid disease and his calcium is very high. During this past year his breathing has become more labored, he can no longer hike with me, and he takes Rimadyl every day for the pain in his hips.

His name is Chesky. We got him in 2004 after a friend suggested the Goldendoodle breed to our family. My husband finally agreed we could get this very expensive “mutt” as long as he could name him. I immediately conceded on the name, although I always thought he picked funny dog names. He came up with Cesky Krumlov after the city in the Czech Republic, one of our favorites and in our family if it was Czech it was the best! My husband was Czech.

My step-son got married that summer to a Czech girl (of course), in the Czech Republic. It was a wonderful 2-week European vacation with family and friends. In the late summer, specifically Labor Day weekend, the newlyweds came to the United States for a wedding party in Minnesota for extended family. After the party, my son and I returned home to Colorado, and my husband went on a business trip. We picked up our new puppy on the way home from the airport! What fun it was to see this little guy curled up on my son’s lap. We were ready for this dog, and going to train him correctly this time around! We had a crate, I read all kinds of training manuals and he was going to be raised to be a well-behaved dog.

I was just about to begin group classes for Chesky in early November when one morning I awoke to my husband saying he did not feel well. Turns out he wasn’t well, his aorta tore and he died within a few hours. There went the dog training. To be honest, I almost got rid of the dog a few months later as it was all too much to embrace, taking care of all that needed to be done with a very complicated Estate (to say the least), trying to raise a 12-year-old boy, and a new puppy. I will never forget sitting on the kitchen floor crying and telling my son we had to get rid of the dog, and my son consoling me saying we couldn’t, we needed him. Turns out he was right, we did need this beautiful soul to nurture us through the rough road that lie ahead. Every day this sweet gentle soul greeted us with love, was mostly nonjudgmental . . . okay, he hates it when anyone raises their voice, or cries for no reason. He actually goes to the door and rings his bell to go outside. So, he did keep us in line over the years, whenever things got heated and my son and I started to verbally get into it, the dog always brought us back to reality.

Today I am sitting on the floor again, nurturing and loving this beautiful soul. I am blessed to have had such a wonderful dog, perhaps a once in a lifetime dog. My son has long since left the nest and lives on the other side of the world in New Zealand. He hopes to come home at the end of the year for a visit, and we are praying our sweet dog lives that long. My guess is he may not, and I won’t let him suffer. He has given so much love, joy, guidance, and more to the both of us that I can never thank him enough. Today I made him scrambled eggs to get him to eat, and I will do the same every day that I remain blessed to have him by my side, and this is how I choose to live . . . in loving kindness, with gratitude for all that sweet Chesky has given to our family.

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About Wildflower Women

Welcome to my site. I am writing to give people inspiration to hold their voices, especially as concerns the grieving process. My hope is that everyone finds a little inspiration from my site. We are all a work in progress! Namaste.
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16 Responses to Sweet Soul

  1. Beautiful dog! Sending love yours and Chesky’s way. I pray he can live peacefully long enough for one last reunion with your son—that would be special for both of them. Stay strong! ❤

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  2. My Chesky was a yellow lab mix named Rascal…. I got him from the humane society in 2002 in the fall after my parent were killed in a car accident the previous spring. Rascal was very protective of us.. he would jump in front of skunks to keep us from getting sprayed ,,, of course taking the spray,… he would kill snakes(especially copperheads) by literally shaking them to pieces, and where ever i was in the house he was either laying by the door or under a window no matter what the weather. He had arthritis that got worse in the past 2 couple of years. I had to finally make the decision I did not want to have to make and had the mobile vet in my area come and put him to rest for me…I would say maybe one more year but the day finally came when he finally just did not want to move because he hurt in spite of the medication that we gave him. He lived about 7- 9 years longer that the average age of a dog that size.. and boy did he love us and we loved him. I think my heart broke that day because I got him when he was 12 weeks old and he was my dog…as I said everywhere I was he was there too. He had a pet cat..and basically loved everyone and even our German shepherds that were raised by us (along with rascal showing them the ropes) seemed to mourn him as well Sometimes it is only once in a lifetime that you get a loyal sweet dog that will be with you and stay with you through thick and thin and they love unconditionally. He had just turned 15 in August and on the 26 of September is when we had him put to sleep…. Treasure your faithful loving friends for as long as you can.

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  3. I hope you and Chesky have many more scrambled egg breakfasts together. He’s a beautiful dog and sounds like he was perfect for your family. I hope you’ll write about him some more. Great post and a wonderful tribute to him.

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  4. We can certainly decide how we are going to live each day and that’s a gift!! I hope your days with Chesky are peaceful and I am glad you have had a wonderful life with him Heather 🌈💕

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  5. You made me cry… both tears of sadness and joy as I know everything is divine creation. I can feel you sitting on the floor… be brave and enjoy everything life has for you Heather… much love, barbara x

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  6. My best wishes to you both. Happy to find you again. Thanks for the boost you gave my site at one time.It helped greatly. Can we chat on email? ngobesingromanuss@gmail.com.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. callie1206 says:

    I love your story sweet soul its so touching thank you for sharing this blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. russtowne says:

    Your post touched me. Chesky sounds like a wonderful dog.

    Liked by 1 person

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