I’m sorry I had to leave you …

Dear Mom,

I’m so sorry I had to leave you this week.

I know you weren’t ready, and I didn’t want to go, but I just couldn’t stay any longer. You kept begging me, just a little more time. Your wet tears on my fur. The sobbing fear in your throat. But my body just wore down. So many years of struggle. I did the best I could, but my heart finally stopped beating. Dr. Hadder brought me back so you could say goodbye, and I heard you, and I felt you, and I knew you were there as I left my body behind.

If it had been up to me, I would have stayed with you forever.

I know you are lonely and sad and crying. I can see you. I’m still there, with you, deep in your heart. You only have to reach inside to know. Where we are connected is not about physical forms. You gave me the best life. So many adventures. We hiked mountain trails, paddled two different oceans, walked and ran beaches and parks. Swam. When the stairs got too tough for me to manage, you stopped asking me to go up and down. When I got slow on our walks, you never hurried me, but stayed by my side.

You kept me! Do you remember all my siblings, a pile of puppy fur and you had found homes for all of us. But I kept staring at you. Doing doggy-mind-meld. Saying, “NO. I’m your dog. Don’t give me away.” I had to fine tune my voice, but you heard me. And after that, we could always talk without words.

You took me from my birthplace in Baja to California where I learned to be bi-lingual and bi-coastal. What luck for me! We went back and forth between the two houses and friends in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Arizona. Those were GREAT road trips mom. Me in the back on my bed with the view.

And you found me so many doggy friends. I’m not sure I can even remember all their names: Shorty, Gidget, Zoey, Peanut, Kenbo, Serita, Pancho, Chica, Perla, Thor, Lily, Rele, Duke, Bob, Ellie, Brownie, Bella, Bo, McDuff, Brandy, Tails, Latte, River, Puka, Rizli and Aurora.And the people, Mom. I can’t bark their names right now, but I remember.

You you gave me the best friends. They love us both. Dog Daddy Steve, Claudia, Jimmy, Emma, Lynn, Eric, Eloise, Mary, Cooper, Bobi Jo, Austin, Val, Alexander, Rigo, Leslie, Aram, Carol, Lee, Cynthia, Cal, Lara, Terry, Kim, Mike, George, Linda, Tony, Mark, Kathy, Chuck, Rob, Yvo, Rochine, Alejandro, Diego, Jeanne, and so many more.

Here’s the thing, Mom. I know you feel like you want to die right now and come with me. But you can’t. You have things to finish and people who need you. They do mom. And you need them. Reach out and let them be there for you.

Okay. Here’s what you need to remember. My bark, especially when i wanted to go for a walk. My gorgeous hair. The way my tail danced when I was happy. The way I liked to wake you up in the morning by licking your face. The way I snuggled next to your body in the night. The way I jumped on your SUP board the minute you laid it down next to the water. The way I brought the ball back to you, running across the park, my hair flying behind me. The way we had stuffed toy wars. The way I followed you everywhere. Room to room. Corner to corner. You know how much I hated to have you out of my sight. How I was always there for the down dogs and the up dogs.

You can’t see or touch my body, but you can feel me. I’m everywhere now, not trapped in one tiny form. I’m locked inside your heart forever. I mean forever.

You were the best person a dog could ever ask for. You were my person.Always and forever. I love you.Buster

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