Friday, 16 March 2012

Goodbye old Friend

Hello readers. I know I have not posted in a while, and to those regular readers, I do apologize. I have been quite busy with school and work, and a number of other side projects which manage to consume all my free time. Seeing as how you are reading my blog, you have probably gained a little insight into my personal and family life, I thought I would share a little more with you: this week, my family suffered a tragic loss, as our long-time family dog passed away suddenly. We had Simba for close to fourteen years (half my life), and his sudden passing has hit not only us, but all those that knew him well particularly hard (this is actually very hard for me, so please bear with me). A good friend of mine told me that to feel sadness over the loss of a loved one is completely normal, and that instead of internalizing the pain over the loss of my friend, I should rather try and express the joy that he made me, and so many others feel. The following is my open-letter to my dog:

Dear Simba,

Fourteen years. That is one heck of a run for a big old Labrador like you. People told us we were pushing our luck with you when you reached ten years old...well we sure showed them. I still remember the day I brought you home with mom: you were the runt of the litter and you fit inside a shoe box, and we never imagined you would grow to be a 90lbs behemoth...but life has a funny sense of humor like that. You quickly became a sensation around the neighborhood, as the cutest puppy around, and I quickly put that to good use by taking you on long walks to try and meet girls (you always were a good team player).

I was just thinking about the time when mom and dad left a pot of semi-cooked ground  beef out on the porch to cool, and then forgot about it. Well you certainly didn't as you ate about 5lbs of half-cooked beef, and gave yourself indigestion for the next two days. I remember we found you lying in the grass, looking drunk, with a bloated belly...I'm sure it was totally worth it!

It's funny how everyday things have started to remind me of you: sitting at the dinner table will never be the same again, as you always used to peak your snout up from underneath the table to see if there was anything interesting at the table...our canine submarine. I remember how you used to sit with me having breakfast, because I always let you lick the inside of the yogurt containers once I was done. Or how it was always your job to bring in the newspaper, and even if someone had already done it, we would still put it back outside so you could bring it in again.

Remember how you used to be the scourge of dog parks? You used to steal everyone's tennis balls...I remember the time you managed to fit three tennis balls in your mouth, and refused to give them back. You just wanted people to play with you, and got everybody to chase you down.

How many concussions did you almost give us all? Running and pulling too hard on the leash in winter...that was an almost dragged dad into a ravine on Mount-Royal chasing down a squirrel.

Well Simba, I suppose it is time to say goodbye. You died on a Thursday, falling asleep and never waking up again. You left this world just like you lived your life, on your terms. Once you had had enough, you said, that's enough for me, i'm going to go to sleep now. A true testament to your character. You were the most misbehaved dog, but you were our dog. You were a member of the family, and now you are gone. I suppose we will all have to get used to the idea of a life without you...but not too soon I hope.

I know that wherever you are now, you are running wild and free, chasing cats and squirrels, and making friends with everyone you meet. 

Goodbye old friend. You are gone, but never forgotten.

Simba de Janeiro Galve, 1998-2012
Dog, Friend, Companion

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