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Cash, January 2016.

Cash, January 2016.

Sunday when I took Cash up for his nap -okay, our nap- I gave him his treat but didn’t throw a few of his toys on the bed like usual. Not that he actual played with them– more than anything I think he just liked having them around him. Seeing this, Cash took matters into his own hands (paws) and somehow managed to open the door to Belle’s crate and took her bone. With it hanging out of his mouth like an oversized, cartoon cigar he climbed up on the bed, turned around in circles and laid down– pressed against me– to go to sleep. Michael had Belle and Dudley in the other room, so this time was just about us.

I have a lot of memories like this- simple, not profound but beautiful.

My boy.

Cash.

Cashman. Boogey. Boogers. Boog. Goofy. Goof. Son. Brother. Big Brother. Baby Boy. Old Man. My Cash.

Yesterday, I had to say goodbye. Time simply ran out.

Twelve years and nine months. He outlived his sister by just over two years and has been my constant companion since then.

But it was time.

Saying Goodbye.

Saying Goodbye.

I thought I was losing him twice earlier in the day but Cash always was a fighter. He hung in there. He hung in through the ride to vet, where they were able to give him medication to make sure he was comfortable and he hung in until Michael could get there.

Nose to nose and staring into his eyes I told him I loved him. I told him it was okay to let go. I whispered it was time for him to run and find his sister. Nose to nose I felt him take his last breath.

Through it all I tried to stay calm, to not cry, to reassure him. When he was finally gone– through the sadness and grief– more than anything I felt lucky.

Lucky.

Cash was a gift. The last two years when I really got to know him and bond with him on a different level were the greatest gift.

Lucky.

Fall 2015

Fall 2015

I’ll miss his smell. I’ll miss the upturned corners of his mouth–that I call a smile when I’d kiss him or stroke his fur.

I’ll miss him pretending to sleep, one ear flipped up so he can hear what’s going on and not miss anything.

I’ll miss Michael getting out of bed every night when it was time to go to sleep and kneeling at the end, scratching his ears and covering him in kisses.

I’ll miss Cash waiting for me at the door, begging for treats, snuggling with me on the couch and in bed… his guilty looks… his playfulness.

And most of all– those eyes. I’d swear looking into his eyes connected our souls.

So very Lucky.

IMG_5463

Cash and Dudley Two Weeks Ago.

Before posting on Facebook, I posted the following:

I want everyone reading this to stop what you’re doing, close your eyes, take a deep breath– and be grateful for all the good things you have to be thankful for. Life comes with no guarantees. The only thing certain– is this moment.

I wanted to share– but not make this all about me. Grief and loss is something we all experience throughout our lives. So many times we get caught up and forget the important things.

Earlier this month, it seemed a lot of friends were experiencing grief and loss. I found and posted this:

12524073_10208043414860917_3883416121481600824_n

When we got home from the vet, we let the babies out and I had to plug my drained phone into the charger… next to Cash’s empty food bowl. A while later, I opened the refrigerator to find his half can of dog food, covered in foil, staring me in the face. Little moments of grief and remembrance. There will be a lot of those moments over the coming weeks. The empty space on the couch, toys only he played with, tags in drawers forgotten long ago. It’s all part of the process.

Within hours of posting on Facebook, over a hundred people has expressed their condolences. Reminding me once again that I am so Lucky.

At bedtime, there wasn’t even any discussion. Belle and Dudley got their peanut butter, their crates were left open and they both climbed up on the bed. They played a little before settling down and going to sleep. I didn’t sleep well– but mostly because it’s hard to sleep with a sixty-pound boxer pushing me to the edge and snuggling with her head on my chest– snoring softly. I was blissfully uncomfortable.

So very, very lucky.

Cash & Roxie as puppies.

Cash & Roxie as puppies.

 

Thank you Alyssa Davis for putting this together.

Thank you Alyssa Davis for putting this together.

 

Cash and Belle. 2014.

Cash and Belle. 2014.

 

One of my most favorite pictures of Cash and I.

One of my most favorite pictures of Cash and I.


14 Comments

  1. This was so beautiful. I’m crying like a baby but I agree. You and Michael are so very lucky. And so are all your babies.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jayna says:

    Dearest Jeff, I have gone through this three times with our precious boys, nose to nose as they cross the Rainbow Bridge, and it never gets any easier. Knowing in your mind you did the right thing is helpful but it doesn’t help the hole in your heart and in your home, and that feeling that something isn’t quite right when you walk in the door, or glance over at a spot where Cash used to hang out. Prayers being lifted up for you and Michael in the coming weeks and months.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Steve says:

    Deeply heartfelt and beautifully written! I understand and have shared a pain, loss and grief such as yours. Wonderful memories forever! Realizing how lucky you are and have been is the perfect response! God be with you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pat says:

    There is no love like that of a dog. I expect mine to be waiting when I get to the other side. The goodness in you is what makes you so lucky.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Donna says:

    Jeff, this is such a beautiful tribute to your sweet boy. I shared it on the Fetching Tails volunteer page, where people truly understand the deep love you can have for an animal. My heart hurts so much for you guys. I know you were lucky to have him, but boy, he sure was one lucky dog to have had you! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Victoria Bounassar says:

    I don’t know you, but I know your pain. I saw Donna’s post on the Fetching Tails page and read your blog. I am so very sorry for your huge loss. I lost my 13 year old girl last April, and I will miss her till my last breath. May you find comfort in your 12 years and 9 months of memories and in the eyes of your other children. How lucky you and Cash were! May peace be with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jlinamen1229 says:

      Thank you so much and I share the pain of your loss as well! For those that view their four-legged children as just pets– and those that have never known the joys of being a guardian– they are missing out on one of the greatest joys in the world. Even in loss, the love always remains. So grateful!

      Like

  7. Jane Coyle says:

    I don’t know you, but I can hardly see what I am typing through the tears. The ache is for your dog and all the other wonderful dogs who have gone on before Cash. I dread the time when our sweet Lucy will have to go, but I know it is inevitable. Will it ever stop me from getting another dog–probably not. I wish you peace….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Debbie says:

    I don’t know except through Facebook….but tears are streaming down my face. It is so difficult to lose e a beloved pet. They give so much and ask for so very little in return. Your words have touched by heart! I pray that memories of your wonderful Cash help you through this difficult time. Thanks for sharing your memories with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Brian Honer says:

    I had to stop reading this at work for fear that people would see me crying. I just finished reading it. Cash was surely the lucky one for having such loving dads. Just wanted you to know I’ve been thinking of you over the last two days. I don’t know how, but I hope your days get easier.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Robin Bowers says:

    You both were blessed to have one another. You surely can see Cash was loved and he knew it. I’m so sorry for your loss. Keep the beautiful memories close!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. krangara says:

    I cried into my pillow the night my foster dog – a smart, sweet, sassy German Shepard mix whom I had for only a month – was united with his furever family.

    It’s been three days since he left my home, but I still cannot enter my guest bedroom – where we slept together, every night. I have hidden his food bowl because seeing it lying untouched on my floor brings a fresh tsunami of tears

    The hole in my soul is huge and shows no signs of healing. I immerse myself in work to numb my feelings…

    If a foster dog can affect me so, I can only imagine how you must be feeling…

    The thought of losing my dog, Oreo, is inconceivable. I know it has to happen some day, but I’d rather live in denial until that day arrives.

    Cash was BLESSED to have YOU as his best friend….and you were double blessed to have this loving boy as YOUR soulmate. #HUGSSSSS

    I am sure he will always protect you from above, even as he flirts and dances and twirls with his girl pals among the rainbow-lit skies ๐Ÿ˜‰

    You are a fabulous writer who words are marinated with hope, heart and honesty…keep writing, friend @HUGSSSS

    Ciao Cash – break some hearts up there, handsome man! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    MUCH love
    k

    Liked by 1 person

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