I don't normally share the dozens of jokes, heartwarming stories and "aw shucks" photos received through email. Nice for a quick read, but I figure we all get enough junk mail.
And so, I read, click, delete.
But I have to share this one sent to me by a Pet Tales reader. I cried when I read it the first time. And later, when I read it again, I cried again. Oh, how I miss my Elvis.
Maybe you've already read this "letter from a dog." Maybe it's old news to everyone, but me. Don't care. I'm posting it anyway (slightly edited for length) in memory of my beautiful boy.
It is my time to say goodbye. I have been called home, away from you. I know I leave you in loneliness and pain, for that is the way of people when they say goodbye. Dogs are different. We don’t have regrets or wish that we could alter the story of life.
I leave you with memories of our life together...when you looked at me and the corners of your mouth turned up, you smelled and looked different. Lighter, happier. That was my life, my work. Nothing more clearly defined my purpose. When you smiled, I knew why I was here.
I remember my heart jumping out of my chest when you came home and called my name, or grabbed my toy to play with me, or feed me. I hope you know that I loved all of those things. Whatever you chose to give me, whatever time you spent with me, I loved. And I thank you.
You know that there is always a goodbye hovering in the shadow of a dog. We are never here for long enough. We were never meant to share all of your life, only to mark its passages. We come when we are needed. We leave when it is time. Death is necessary. it defines life.
I will see you again.
I will watch over you.
I hope, in your grief and loneliness, that you will consider how sad it would have been had we not had this time together, not had the chance to give each other so much.
I do not mourn or grieve, but I will miss standing beside you, bound together on our walk through life, even as I know there is a long line of others waiting to take my place and stand by you.
Thank you. It was nothing but a gift.
Finally, I ask these things of you: Remember me. Celebrate me. Grieve for me. And then, when you can, let me go, freely and in peace.
When you are ready, do me the great honor of bringing another dog into your life so you can give and receive this gift again."