Cowboy, you are my third personal dog to lose in a row. You are part of the endless domino effect of death, and you have had such a heartbreaking impact on our family unit. Every single one of us have continued to weep for your bittersweet absence. Ross would have shed tears for you as well, and my only comfort is knowing that he has his big strong arms wrapped around your big mushy sweet head, and that you are covered with warmth and love, no matter where you might go.
You had thyroid/weight issues. You were a lumpy dog, but these lumps were not cancerous nor did they put you in any discomfort. You were an older dude, 11……but a bigger lab, so your life span was probably shorter than the average smaller dog. But you still had lots of time, did you not? You spirit was bright and full of life. Why did you suddenly develop brain cancer, or whatever neurological setback that turned you blind and confused that big beautiful head of yours?
You didn’t want to come inside, but chose to lounge around the back yard, every now and again, changing locations to avoid the summer heat. I saw you lapping up your water, and I kept ice cubes in your water dishes, because I knew you loved to eat them, and I know that it excited you to find those floating in your bowls. Anything, and everything, just to see your tail wag in appreciation, and to see those droopy adoring eyes, looking up at me with anticipation.
You were a slower moving boy, unless you saw a squirrel or promised a treat, then hell hath no fury on your speed and power. But your heart……there is no animal alive, with a bigger heart than yours…..and I can still feel you here, stomping around with those huge bear-like paws…peeking around the corner from the bedroom….you hated the wood floors because they were slippery and unpredictable, so you always paused and looked at me that way…..”seriously, mom? No rug yet?”……scratching on the back door when you were ready to come back in (more like mauling, to our dismay), to throw yourself onto the floor at our feet with a huge sigh of exhaustion, after soaking in sunlight, and wiggling your itchy back in the grass.
YOU ARE HERE, Cowboy…..and as I sit on the bathroom floor while Bailey takes her bath…..I can feel you barreling in through the door, fumbling for a spot next me, and laying your big sweet head in my lap, and following my hands with your pitiful loving gaze. And when I would stop petting your head, you would gently touch me with your gigantic paw, though it isn’t really very gentle, because you never recognized your own strength. You loved so hard, and as far as you were concerned, you were a small lapdog, front and center, and the most important family member alive. You were not wrong, Cowboy….you were the one essence that always made us smile and brought such a warmth when our days were cold.
You were handsome, proud, and the most loving soul that I have ever known. I cannot believe that you have left us. There will never be another dog that will replace you, nor will I ever forget or stop feeling your beautiful presence of light and love. And I would give anything, just to look into your big sad eyes, and embrace your huge soft body once again, as you lean into my hug, and sniff my hair.
Cowboy, you cast a spell on us. We will never forget you, nor will we ever stop honoring you.
I love you so much that it hurts. I miss you so much that I want to cry a river every single day, but I am almost numb and shielded from all of the loss of this year. I will ache for you forever, but I am so very happy that you graced our family with such a sweet unwavering love. Thank you. #IWannaBeACowboyBaby #MyBigLugger