It's been two weeks since our beloved fur kid Holley passed away. She had a respiratory condition that was, for the most part, incurable and little by little it worsened over the winter months. We knew that her hunting career would come to a close and that she would likely be confined to the shoreline. We had already made the switch from fast paced frisbee and chuck-it games to more casual walks around the neighborhood and her favorite game, indoor hide and seek.
What we didn't know was that the evening walk we shared two weeks ago would be our last. She started off with her classic labrador smile and contagious enthusiasm, trotting well ahead of us, stopping only to sniff the usual spots. About half way through the route, well, things went wrong. Terribly wrong. In a few short hours, she passed, in peace and with dignity.
For the better part of 10 years she was a constant companion. She was everywhere. We lived, worked, vacationed, celebrated, and shared everything, together. And at the end of a long day she kept my feet warm and never once complained about about my snoring. She knew everything about me and still liked me. I knew everything about her and I knew she was a blessing in my life. A gift to be cared for and cherished.
Holley knew lots of people. She was, afterall, Director of Human Resources at the office.....and a darn good one at that. We have been blessed with kind words, heartfelt sympathies, and shared stories with others who have experienced the loss of beloved fur-kids. For that, we are forever thankful to have such friends.
And while I know in my head that I should focus on, and remember all of her silly antics, the funny stories, and the countless smiles she brought, the heartache remains. The tears still come too easily, and I still, somehow, feel her presence. I'm thinking that's what it means to have "paw prints on your heart".
Going through photos this past week brought to mind a time several years ago when one of my kids remarked that I was taking more photos of Holley than I was of them. Well, I thought about it, and replied that if my children could master a "sit-stay", come when I called, and didn't squack about what I put on thier dinner plates, then maybe I'd take more photos of them too!
There are actually hundreds of photos the include Holley. She was involved with nearly every aspect of our lives and I'm so glad I just let her get right there in amongst it all! Here's the link to a Shutterfly book I put togther in 2008 featuring Holley photos.