no sounds of tags jingling
no thud as he lays on the ground
no whimpering or nudging to be scratched on his back end
no lapping of water
no wet face from the licks of love
no best friend to mend our broken hearts
The silence is deafening…
the silence of death. Death of our precious Chocolate Lab Sarge. He was more than a dog… he made our family a family of five again. This time all boys and me.
His life with us started in 2011. At the time our Weimaraner Lily went into congestive heart failure and we had to help her to a better place by putting her down. We did everything to hold on to her… selfishly unable to let her go. Visits to the ER, medicine on top of medicine… why? We needed her… we couldn’t let go of a love so deep. When the day came to put her down, I held her in the backseat of the car while my husband drove.
I knew right then that I had to rescue a dog from that awful moment… the moment of being put down and ending a life. One for many that is too early and without reason as the shelters were overflowing with homeless animals.
Days, weeks, and months passed before I decided to stop off at the Humane Society. The silence without Lily was deafening. I needed to break the silence… I needed to fill the void in my heart. I walked the concrete floor listening to the barking, scratching, and whines of many. Then I rounded the bend to the last row of dogs. I thought the cage was empty because no one greeted me at the fence begging me to take them home. Instead, in the back corner of the cage laid a beautiful Chocolate Lab unwilling to even look my way. I immediately needed in… I had to just pet him and show him the love he seemed to be without. He still didn’t move. The staff said he was a drop off, terribly depressed, and would be put down in a couple of days if he didn’t find a home. Put down? But why… they guessed he was 3-4 years old and had a lifetime ahead of him if only he could find a home.
I sat down at the dinner table that night with this conversation at the tip of my tongue, ready to share. Eric, my husband, truly wanted another Weimaraner or possibly a German Short Hair… both at the mercy of a waiting list for pups not even born yet. I pleaded my case and ended with a deal of one visit to meet this precious saint. If they didn’t bond then I would let it go. We got into the car and headed to the Humane Society. When they brought him into the meet and greet room, the depressed, shy, and heart broken 80 pound pup went straight to Eric and climbed up on his lap.
This was the day he became Sarge Nan.
Since that day, Sarge’s sole purpose in life was to love us! No matter what our day was like, Sarge guaranteed us a welcome home party fit for kings and a queen. Where we were, he was…
being tripped over while making a meal
spotted stealing your warm seat on the couch
tip toeing into your bed in a stealth manner that you never realized 80 pounds of pure love just took up your limited bed space until you fell out
found sliding down the front hill over and over like a built in playground slide made just for him
loving up each of us at all times
Who rescued who?
Sarge was an angel sent to us… he was a healer. He was medicine in the rarest form. He was a soul filler. HE was a RESCUER!
He was truly healthy until Thanksgiving. Then we started to notice the same signs in him as we had seen in Lily. We prayed we were wrong, but our guts knew different. We took in every moment with him. We gave up our spot in bed. The couch was all his until he couldn’t physically get himself up on it anymore. He ate what he wanted when he wanted as long as he would eat. I limited my use of social media and found myself searching for more moments. Time I could never get back. Many asked me where I was for a chat or even a remark to a post. I was pretty hard on myself for not finishing the last 2 PD videos for the Ditch Summit. Family was coming in to stay and I didn’t know how to balance the joy of the holiday with the pain I was feeling inside. The pain written all over my face every time I would wake up or come home just hoping that he would be there to greet me.
I made sure that I thanked him every chance that I could. I thanked him for loving me, for being the one constant we each needed in our lives, for always knowing just what to say in all situations, for being patient and kind, and for loving us unconditionally. I took advantage of all moments.
Then, I selfishly asked him to hold on through Christmas Day… and then I would let him go. I couldn’t bare seeing my family crumble over the loss of our loved one. He held on… he was strong for all of us. Then the day came. The one that I had been dreading. I knew I had to call the vet. It was time. Time to say goodbye. How have we been left with the cruel decision of laying him down to rest when that is what we saved him from?
I prepared my boys the best that I could. I knew they needed the precious time that I had gifted myself. We fed him as many treats as he would take. We hugged him and kissed him. Trent, my eldest son, and I took him for one last short walk and then helped him in the car. That ride… that dreaded ride.
For the first time in weeks, Sarge found comfort in this ride. He laid down and was at peace… it was as if he was now thanking us. Thanking us for unselfishly letting him go.
Good Bye my friend… our lives will never be the same. You were a gift in every sense of the word. Go run, play, and roll down the hills that await you!
The Silence without Sarge is Deafening… our world shattered by love ❤️ #OurHeartsBelongToSarge
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