My walk this evening was quite different than my walk this morning. This morning our whole family, minus Princess Zoom Zoom strolled around the block, including our beloved Bart-a-Boo. This evening it was quite different, as my solo walk didn't have my canine companion. He crossed the rainbow bridge this morning.
After our walk, we paused for pictures before pulling/carrying him up the front steps. I have no idea if he knew that was the last time he'd go on a walk around the block or not, but I do know he was given lots of love before being lifted into the van to be carted to the vet and cross the rainbow bridge.
He's been our pet almost since the extreme heat of the July day 14 years ago when we said, "I do." He survived 2 transfusions, 4 surgeries, and a 12 day pet ICU stay 11 years ago, earning him the title of my $8K dog. He also rescued our house from burning down when this sleep-deprived mommy turned on the wrong burner for hot water and caught a cereal box on fire when my almost 10-year-old was an infant. So I think there was some redemption for his expensive price tag.
As I accidently broke an empty wine glass tonight, I didn't have to keep him away from the kitchen, but I also didn't have him there to gobble up the food that this clumsy mom spills almost daily.
He was a spoiled dog, never quite outgrowing all his puppy qualities, but the last few months it got noticeably harder for him to use the stairs and his breathing was almost always a pant. He still enjoyed attention and all food (unless it was green or black olives). He still wagged his tail excitedly when the leash came out to go for a walk. For everything he could still do, there was at least one he couldn't do.
As difficult as it was, we said goodbye today. And I know it will be an adjustment for us all—especially now that we won't have a canine vacuum cleaner tidying up when food slips out of our fingers and lands on the floor.