This post isn't easy for me to write, which is why it has taken me almost a week. On Wednesday, the 26th, I had to say goodbye to my best friend of 15 years. Scooter's body just couldn't keep up with his spirit and he was having a hard time doing basic things, like standing up and walking. So, I did what any loyal pet owner would do, even if it was hard for me. Wednesday morning David and I took Scooter to the vet's. We sat out in the car and I hugged and kissed Scooter while the vet helped Scooter ease out of this world.
It was hard to do, especially because Scooter has been with me for half of my life. I got him the summer I turned 15. Mom took me "just to look" at a puppy being fostered by a local rescue organization. Of course it was love at first sight and we brought him home with us, much to my dad's surprise. He was 7 lbs of cuteness and attitude.
I can remember spending time after school training him out in the yard. He learned to "play dead" in about 10 minutes. He was smart, which also sometimes got him in to trouble. Let's just say he did his fair share of chewing things in my room! It didn't take long before we were best buds.
Scooter loved going camping with us. He loved to swim and when we would let him out of the tent in the morning he would make a beeline for the lake!
Scooter has been with me just about every step of the way. He went to college with me, he moved to Vermont with me, and then moved back with me when that didn't work out. When I first moved to the area where I live now, I didn't know anybody. Scooter was pretty much my only (local) friend at that time. He went every single place I did. He'd sit in the passenger side of my car and look out the window. Every now and then he'd crane his head backwards to look at me. I'd scratch him on the chin and he'd turn back to the window. Sometimes I'd have to stop quickly and I'd tell him, "look out boo boo" and he'd sit down quickly so he wouldn't slide into the dashboard.
I swear he understood me when I talked to him. He knew me so well.
He loved to play ball! He'd pop rubber balls so he could carry them around more easily, and he would play any chance he got.
David loved Scooter too. He knew how important Scooter was (is) to me and he proposed to me with Scooter's help. The three of us went down to the river one day and David played fetch with Scooter. He handed me the stick to throw, and when I looked at it I saw, "Will you marry me?" written on the stick. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect proposal!
I took the picture above and below on that day. It was a perfect day.
And I knew I couldn't get married unless Scooter was in the wedding. He was an honorary bridesmaid (er, bridesdog?) and wore a flowered collar and leash.
I am so glad I have these memories and pictures of that special day.
He had been with me every step of the way up to that point, and I wanted him to be included as well.
It was hard to see him age, because I hated to think that he wouldn't be with me forever.
I never thought of Scooter as old, even when he looked old. I always saw him as the same Scooter.
This picture below is our last picture taken together. I took it on Tuesday night while we were getting some more snuggle time in.
It has been a hard week for me. It just doesn't seem real that he's not here anymore. I find myself going to look for him, or waiting for him to walk around the corner. Elmer and Buford were playing too rough last night and I got ready to tell them to settle down, since they always used to get in Scooter's way. One night I put Buford in his crate and said, "Night Scoot." Those are the hard things, because those things just come naturally and then it's a hard reminder that he's not here with us. Today Buford took a car ride with me, and as I slowed down to turn back into our driveway I said, "look out, boo boo" out of habit. It's getting a little easier every day, and I've been thinking back on all the good times and memories we had together. It helps that my family and friends have been so supportive. David has been my hero through this whole thing. I don't know how I would have done it without him. He has definitely been my rock.
I had Scooter cremated, because I just didn't want to bury him here when I know this won't be our house forever. I have a few plans for his ashes, like spreading some in a couple of our special places, and putting some under a special plant in the yard. I'm thinking it'll be a peony, since those were the flowers in my wedding bouquet. I know I'll smile and think of him every time I cut a vase of blooms.
I'm not a religious person, and I had never really put much thought into heaven, whether it existed or not. As I laid in bed on Wednesday night, I thought there must be a heaven, because how could our loved ones just cease to exist? I think he's somewhere right now, playing with all of the other dogs my family has lost over the years. He's swimming, playing ball, and bossing around other dogs this very moment. If ever there was a dog that deserved to go to heaven, he was it! I'll miss him so much. Love you, Scoot.