Princess with her lifelong friend Critter
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss)
I came across the above quote on our local Golden Retriever Rescue site (Evergreen Golden Retriever Rescue). Princess would have loved the idea that Dr. Seuss presides over her memorial. It is getting only slightly easier to live by that even though it is so true. How blessed I was to have shared so many years with such a dear friend.
This is borrowed from Hunter's memorial and says it all especially about goldens:
You are not the sunrise
You are not the sunset
You are the sun!
Five years ago Princess was called from my side and received her golden wings. During that time there is not one day that goes by that I do not think of her, the good times and the bad, the happy, the sad and everything in between. No one could have had a better friend and confidant than I had in Princess. No matter how many years pass, I will never forgot this beauitful girl and her amazing spirit. My critters support group has been so helpful in times of great saddnes and I thank the creators and custodians of this site for making it available to those of us who mourn. Special thanks to Vicki S and Lauvern P for making fabulous composite pictures for me to post on special occassions such as this.
I love you Princess and miss you so very much.
It has been 3 years since my Princess became an angel. In the months since that time I have learned alot and met many wonderful people who have shared a similar loss. This site has been my lifeline and now that I am healing, I feel it is my turn to help others who have come here and are hurting. I am proud to be part of a wonderful core of people who visit the birthday and angelday memorials everyday. I know how much it means to me each time I receive the "New Guestbook entry.." email notification. I want to pass that along to others who need to know their companions have not been forgotten. Thank you Princess for all you have given to me. Thank you Critters community for all you have given me too!
June 2009 addendum
If you are new to Princess's web page you might wonder if I still miss her. The answer is a resounding YES but my memories are bittersweet now. Though fewer and fewer people read through her tribute, the fact that it is here and I can remember her myself through my own eyes as time passes is very important to me. I will continue to work on her pages as life with other furkids goes on and right up until the day I can be with her and the rest of my pack once again. Thank you for visiting her, please remember to sign her guestbook.
I am adding these thoughts almost 10 months after I lost my Princess. The memorial is sad to read and Princess was not a sad girl. She was JOYOUS. It is the only word that fits her. It is what is missing from our home and my life...that pure JOY!
As time has passed I have had a chance to reflect on her life and what she added to mine and our family. She was a true teacher, so patient and kind. If I was distressed in any way, she came to me instead of hiding or making herself scarce. She took what life offered her, be it good or bad, in stride, always trusting me. If she had something caught in a paw or tangled in her fur, she trusted that I would take care of it. Usually I noticed right away when she came to me and she would stand quietly, waiting for me to help her. In her older years she would get a hitch in her hip. If I slowly rotated and flexed the joint it would loosen up and she would be OK. I remember her slowing up if we were out walking so I could "fix" her up. We had a connection that I have not had with any other creature or person, one that I dearly miss and will treasure forever. With that said, read about my girl and know that the saddness expressed is mine not a reflection of the dearest friend I had.
In loving memory of our Princess whom we love so much. My true soul mate, comforter, friend, task master and Buddha dog, wise beyond all of our years. I did not know those almost 14 years ago how much grace, beauty, love, laughter and tears you would bring into our lives. The lessons you taught us all and continue to teach, even now, after you have gone. The last months of your life were hard but you never complained. Even when you had to have one eye removed and a tooth pulled. But the joy on your face when I cooked your salmon and chicken was a vision I still carry in my mind. How you loved your salmon (wild caught of course!) The free-range chicken was OK too. You even liked your organic vegetables and fruits. Your ritual nose cleaning after eating and roll for joy at the goodness you just received would put the rest of us to shame in our thanks at the dinner table. Your dad didn't mind sharing his breakfast oatmeal either, sorry you couldn't have as many bananas are you would have liked and I regret you did not get one last birthday ice cream cone.
On your last day you only came and asked for help never whining or crying though I know you were in distress. When you stood in the kitchen that day and told me you had to go I felt your only wish was for me to know you loved me and to forgive you for leaving me. At the hospital you used the last of your strength to wag your tail for me one last time and to barely lift your head in acknowledgment of my presence.
Barkley, Critter, Jolean, Kit Kat, Scotter, Tigger, Jazzy, Deeter, Dutchess, Friendly, Bouncy, Towser, Tsuki, Henny Penny, Butterscotch, April, Pernod, Hugger, Smokey and even another Princess all welcomed you at the Rainbow Bridge. So many friends here and now there. Though you may not have known them all, I know the love we had for you and all of them connects us all. The hole you have left in our lives and hearts is immeasurable. Until we meet again, rest and be happy and whole, play in the surf and snow with me by your side in spirit.
I love you
Please see page 10 (Just A Dog) for one of the best stories I have ever read about loving a dog and why.
SEPTEMBER 2010 UPDATE
I attended a dog training/behavior seminar last weekend. One of the speakers was Patricia McConnel the famous author, animal behaviorist and trainer who was speaking about the death of her soul mate border collie Luke. I think any one of us could insert our own special companion's name and understand exactly what she means:
“I imagine Luke's death to be as if someone took all the oxygen out of the air and expected me to live without it.”
Thank you Lauvern for the lovely photo frame image!