My Beloved Sancho
Sancho was my everything. He never had a bad moment in his life. He was always happy, always ready to play, and always, always there for me. He was the first thing I saw every morning, and the first thing I heard as I approached my house. He played ball with me, chased sticks, swam in the ocean, chested waves, found tennis balls no matter where we were, guarded me, and love me unconditionally every single moment of every single day. As my children grew up and out, Sancho became my best, best friend and my main man. I jokingly called him: "The dog who will not die", and yes, I expected him to live forever with me. By my side. Sleeping next to my bed. Spending most moments together. His arthritis would bother him sometimes. He was disoriented once in awhile and I would worry. As he got older, I would wonder if something was serious, but within 24 hours? He would be his courageous self. You can imagine, as I faced my own aging struggles, he was a daily inspiration. And he was almost 16 years old, never complained, barely slowed down in any way. Then one day he picked at his food. For a couple of days he was on the lethargic side and really didn't want to eat. I worried. Queensland Heelers are not big on vets, however, so I stayed low with him. Watched him and made sure he was drinking water. Within one more day, his back legs were gone and he would not drink water. My son stayed with him while I worked and when I came home I knew I had to take him. His temperature was high and the vet said it would take hours of risky surgery to find out what was wrong. I sat on the cold cement floor cradling my beloved best friend and dearest companion as he died. The vet and assistant had gone to get the euthanasia equipment but thankfully, Sancho died before they returned. I have never, EVER felt such sadness--even in my life of many challenges. I cried so hard my heart broke. It has been three months and I still cry every single day. I look for him everywhere and constantly think that he is in the next room or just outside. How to let go of such a love? such unconditional love? I do not fit in with people that well and Sancho was one being who made my life seem worthwhile and joyful. he brought unconditional love to my life and I miss him beyond words. I light candles, I write about him, I have a little altar with his collar and some tennis balls but still the sadness will not leave me. Life has changed for me so much. I am lucky to have 3 little dogs and they are my anchor now. They miss their big dog, and especially my little rescue dog--she was his "mini-me". I have heard everything in the past three months since he died: "he was just a dog. You will get over it. You have other dogs. Get another Queensland. He is waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge". and everyone, absolutely everyone thinks that I should be happy by now and "get over" his loss. But they do not know what it was to see a perfect love reflected in his big brown eyes. To have someone wait patiently through my illnesses and long workdays just to play ball and take a walk. He loved me more than anyone ever, ever has and I cannot let him go. I miss him so much. It took this long to recover from my guilt of waiting three days to take him to the vet, for taking him to the vet at all, for submitting him to blood tests and a shot of morphine, and of course, I have felt guilty over every imagined "I should have" you can think of and every "if only". Here is what I cannot believe, no matter how much I cry and no matter how hard I try: I cannot believe that he is gone. That he will never try to climb up in my lap again. That I will never snap his ladybug collar on again. That I will never stroke his salt and pepper fur again. And I will never see his unconditional love for me in his soft brown eyes. The only thing that keeps me going is my great love for my children and my little dogs who are lost without their alpha dog, my best friend and hero, my beloved Sancho. My golden boy.