A Heartfelt Goodbye

Bernese Mountain Dog portrait. Adult, purebred. Head portrait
Bernese Mountain Dog portrait. Adult, purebred. Head portrait

She stood guard in the front window daily. The first to warn me of the arrival of a delivery, even if it was for the neighbors or the garbage man. Her big black block head, with it's white stripe down the middle and warrior paint copper markings, was my first line of defense. The glass pane is covered in the remnants of her many alerts. Clumps of black hair tumble through the kitchen, gathering like friends conspiring against another under the cabinets. Her eyes would bear into me, pleading for just one more pet, because a million was never enough, she always wanted just one more.

I too want one more. I want one more ride in the car with her. I want one more evening watching her groom whosever legs were bare. I want one more moment of the kids lying next to her on the floor. I want one more shoe lace of drool to puddle on the floor in anticipation of her food. I want to hear her tail whip against the wall in excitement one more time. I want one more day of her lying on the ice cold deck, her eyes looking up to the sky in complete happiness. I want just one more everything with her.

Today, I said goodbye to my Big Girl Lexi, my Bernese Mountain Dog. She was only 7, turning 8 in May, but by her breed standards she was well into her golden years. I knew when I first opened my heart for her, when we re-homed her at 10 months old, our time together would be limited. But even if I had her walk with me for the next 20 years, it would never be enough.

I had no idea how sick she was, she hid it so well. Animals are like that; stoic, not showing the extent of the decline until it is too late. This morning, it became evident something was not right and after meeting with our wonderful veterinarian and her assistants, who have known my baby from the beginning, it was determined there was no other option but to say goodbye. Cancer had spread from her spleen to her liver, she was losing blood and very ill. And through it all she smiled. I hugged my girl, whispered how very much I love her, and gave her just one more pet.

Hug your fur babies tight, love them while you have them and always give them just one more everything because you never know when it will be time to stop giving one more of anything.