By Alex M. Eduque
Dealing with a loss is never easy. And last weekend, our beloved family dog of 13 years crossed that rainbow bridge. While every day he lived beyond the standard life expectancy for his breed was a bonus, it still suffices to say that his passing caught us all in quite a surprise. In other words, none of us expected it to happen when it did. He was still rather strong (even given his elderly frail state) up till noon time of the day before he passed. To fellow dog lovers– I think you will fully understand the grieving that comes with the loss of a furry friend. To those who cannot quite sympathize, believe me when I say that it crushes you – more than I even expected it to. This week, I choose to write this letter to Brock to properly say goodbye. And while yes, he will never get to read this (heck, he never would have even in his lifetime), it is my attempt to console everyone else out there who has, at one point in their life, lost a furry friend. You are not alone, and sometimes, we just need to let it all out…
It never crossed my mind when I helped you get up last Thursday night that it would be the last time I’d get to pet you. You were still so full of life, trying with all your might to race to the dinner table to win your fair share of beef stew. I don’t know if you knew I would be leaving on a short trip the next day, and that we’d never see each other again, but I’ll tell you now that I definitely was not prepared – I did not think that would be goodbye, nor was that the goodbye I imagined it to be with that white fur ball of fluff who brought so much light and love into our home for the last thirteen years.
It would occasionally cross my mind that one day, you’d be gone. But I never anticipated to ever be this distraught. I was crushed beyond belief, and shed way more tears for you than I ever thought was possible. You broke my heart, Brockie Boo. In a way I describe to people as worse than the typical heartbreak we all talk about and know – after all, while we did have our “fights” (if you could even call it that) and our moments of frustration with each other, I only have the best, and fondest memories of you to hold on to and look back at. Even at your most annoying and most stubborn of moments, I could never find it in myself to hate you. Because you were just so adorable and irresistible like that.
You were always so full of life, even in your later, and more frail years. You always had this sense of pomp and pride about you that was uniquely your own and that no one could ever burst. It was almost as if you knew you owned our hearts – moms, most especially – and that no matter what you did, we saw no wrong. And though we were fully aware that you were aging, I guess we were somewhat in denial that the day would come, so when it did, we were the most unprepared we ever were. We blinded ourselves to the truth of your possible demise because your charm just had that magic. You caught us off guard, and did things your way, I suppose – in the way you always have, and have known best.
Fourteen glorious years you lived, twelve of those in our home. When I think about it, we’ve definitely grown up together. From odd ball playmates, seeing you as this almost indestructible ball of fluff tirelessly bouncing around and tailing mom, whose hair-do could never be not coiffed, to a shock absorber who obviously was capable of saying nothing, but whose physical company was more than enough to console, to say that you were around during some of the most trying and transformative times of our lives is an understatement. And that’s perhaps why the impact of your death has just kicked us in the gut this hard.
Our only consolation is that you passed peacefully and painlessly (or at least we hope so). You had your bratty and pampered moments, but nothing that ever demanded too much of our attention. You were always much more pleasant, than you were a pain, and now that you’re gone, I hope you know what an impact you’ve made – not only in our household, but in the lives of family, friends, guests, and everyone who had the honor of encountering and snapping a photo of you. Farewell, dearest Brock. You lived a good life, but most importantly, you made sure ours was as well. As mom said, you were special – always have been, and forever will be. Whoever will come after you will surely have huge shoes to fill. But do know that for as long as we all shall live, you are the irreplaceable moonlight stargazer (his registered kennel name) of our hearts.