Thursday, June 23, 2011

my dear, sweet shiloh

(warning - severe tear alert for the writing ahead)

I began this post three years ago. That's how long I neglected this blog. During that time, I had many, many changes in my life - and not the very least was what I write below.

My dear, sweet Shiloh lost his battle at the respectable dog age of twelve years old last fall. I began this blog with the intention of writing primarily about my three faithful companions. Life got in the way, of course, as it always does. But writing about this painful loss - well, it took nearly nine months for me to put my fingers to the keyboard and write about something so very painful.

Shiloh was an amazing dog. Of course, all dogs are amazing - their love, their dedication, the way a dog is willing to die for the one (or ones) they love continue to amaze me. Most of all, they carve a deep spot in our hearts that just can't be filled by anyone else, and their lives are just too darn short.

But, as far as dogs go, Shiloh was truly amazing. He was smart - so smart that he understood human-talk. He just didn't learn what certain words meant (and I know those of you who haven't been blessed with a bond like this probably doubt the validity of my statement - but it's true). He was more independent than Sammy (and definitely Emma, who is so bonded and dependent on me that she won't let anyone else take her outside to go to the bathroom!) He had no fears - except the vet! His loves included the ocean - and trucks - we never had one, but except for his failing health during the last few yrs of his live, I would have expected him to jump up into a stranger's truck just for the fun of it! We took him by car when we moved to Arizona (turned out to be for 2 1/2 yrs) with Sammy, and returned again by car (this time with both Sammy & Emma) - they all loved it, but Shiloh would get excited for years if I ever brought out a suitcase or travel bag!

Although he battled poor health off & on for the last two or three yrs of his life, his worst suffering was, at least, only about 24 hrs. Our vet told us that he had gone completely blind - I knew he had also lost his hearing before that - and when he was no longer able to stand up (all happening in such a short time) - I knew that it was time.

I thank God that my now-full grown son, John, was (and still is, at least for now) sharing the apartment with me, as I could not have done what he did. He stayed up with us for nearly all of those 24 hours, and carried him to the car twice - once for the first visit to the vet, next for that oh-so-painful last trip. He sat on the floor (I'm disabled, was in really bad pain - and never could have done any of that) - since we didn't want to move our dear, suffering Shiloh anymore.

He held and patted Shiloh as he crossed over Rainbow Bridge, as I bent over as best I could to touch my 'big guy' as I used to call Shiloh - and said our final goodbyes to the guardian angel-dog, who I believe, is now with Joe, in heaven. (more about Joe later... I have some tears to wipe away..)

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