The first time I saw his picture on the web, I was in love. I little Cocker Spaniel named Scooter, about one year old, was down in Arkansas looking for a forever home. After talking it over with my wife, I contacted the rescue agency and, when the arrangements were made, waited for him to be transported up here to Maine.
The day we picked him up from his foster home, we found him curled up in their leather recliner. At the time, I had no idea this would be his legacy. He quickly came to greet us and welcomed us into his life. We brought him home and introduced him to our other rescue dog Sophie and a lifelong bond was established.
That was twelve years ago. During that time, I have shared my recliner with him and together we have logged hundreds of hours. If I was in it, so was he. I would raise the footrest to create a ramp and he would run up it and curl up in my lap. As the years captured his youth, he came to a point where he could no longer make it by himself, so I would raise the footrest and he would put his front paws on it and I would lift him up.
In the last year, I have watched him slowing down. Our ten minute walks became closer to a half hour and trips to the vet became more frequent, but he still soldiered on. Every night he would struggle to climb the stairs at bedtime, sometimes with a little assistance, so I could pick him up and put him at the foot, where he would spend the night. Then, about a month ago, he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his mouth which was spreading quickly, making it difficult for him to eat. I brought him home and I decided to let him have what time was left in as much comfort as possible.
Yesterday, after several days of trying to find foods he could ingest without difficulty, it became evident to me that the time had come to let him go. If you have ever owned and loved a pet, you know what a difficult decision that is. It is when you finally admit to yourself that you are avoiding the decision not for the benefit of the pet, but because of your reluctance to say goodbye. Yesterday, Scooter crossed over the Rainbow Bridge and is now waiting for us on the other side.
Last night, I sat down in my recliner and was immediately surrounded by his absence. But only briefly. I soon felt a light thud and looked down to see Kramer, our newest rescue, curling up in my lap. He looked at me as if to say, “I thought you may need some company”. He was right. And tomorrows memories began anew.
February 2008 – October 2020