I love you.
I know, I know. You have heard me say that so many times before, but I had to say it one more time. Ugh. That hurts to type – “one more time”. It’s not going to be easy, Chewey. I don’t want to say goodbye.
When I met you, I wasn’t even looking for you. I went to Julia’s Jungle to meet your partner. I can’t remember her name – I think it started with a “C”, maybe. Claire? Clarice? Who knows!! (Chloe, according to Gage) – I went to meet her thinking she was going to be my dog.
Nobody knew I was going there. I didn’t tell a soul. But, I was tired of waiting for a dog. I wanted a dog and by gosh, I was going to get one.
Meeting your partner, well, you know, I just wasn’t feeling it. She was a nice enough dog, but there was no connection. When the guy said she was “high maintenance”, I was out.
But, then he told me about her partner. He pointed to this dark, little thing laying in the corner of his cage. Owner surrender, he said. You two came in together, but you didn’t need to leave together.
He asked if I wanted to hold you. I couldn’t say yes fast enough. This little bundle of love, in my arms, well, that was you, Chewey.
I was in a dark place when I met you, Chewey. A deep, dark place. I had fallen away from my relationship with God. I had been hurt deeply by church people. I walked away from God. I was steeped in sin. My marriage, my family, my life – I was at the end of my rope. I felt unloved, rejected, abandoned, forgotten and used – much of it my own doing.
My heart was cold and hard. Holding you in my arms began to melt it all away.
Your love rescued me, Chewey. With you, I had someone to love and who loved me unconditionally. I had someone who always wanted me around. I had someone who always needed me.
Yes, I had the kids, but they were growing up. I love them with every fiber of my being. But, kids eventually grow up and move on with their lives – which, as of recently, they all now have. You were in it for the long haul with me, right, Chewey?
I don’t know that I ever deserved you. You were as faithful as they come. I didn’t always understand your needs, but you most certainly understood mine. Parents always feel they can do better with their kids. I certainly feel that way with you.
I wish I could have done things differently early on. I’m not sure I was as attentive as I should have been. I still had two kids at home that needed looking after, but you were always understanding. You loved me the same way for the past 8+ years. You saw me – and loved me – through a lot of pain, tears and sorrow.
Now, your long haul is over.
My brain is struggling to fathom life without you. My heart – you know my heart, Chewey – is in a million pieces. Every fragment filled with a beautiful memory of you and our life, our partnership together.
I never could quite bring myself to call myself your “mom”, like some pet owners do. I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t do that. It wasn’t even that I “owned” you. I was yours. You were mine. That was enough for me.
But now…I am your mom, Chewey. I don’t want to say goodbye. I don’t want you to be in pain either, but I don’t want you to go first. My heart…
You have my heart, Chewey. From the moment I laid eyes on you, you had my heart. I don’t know how…. I don’t have the words, my Chewey. I just don’t have the words.
I will miss you so much. Oh my word, I can’t see straight through the tears right now. I will miss you. I love you like no pet I have ever had before.
You rescued me, Chewey. I didn’t rescue you. You rescued me from the dark pit I was in. You helped me to learn to love and trust again. I believe God brought you into my life for that very reason. You were an answered prayer directly from heaven. I believe that with all my heart and soul.
I don’t know if dogs will be in heaven. I’d love to believe they will be and I will see you again – praising Jesus in your own dog way. If not, I am so very grateful to you, my little Chewey. So completely, infinitely grateful to have had you in my life. It was an honor and privilege to be your “mama”. I will treasure you in my heart always.
Thank you for loving me, Chewey.
And thank you, God, for Chewey.
Knees Down, Prayers Up
** NOTE: Chewey passed peacefully today at around 3:00 pm PST