Friday, August 12, 2016

A Tribute to Summerdog

I still look for her every morning.

Today Summer would have been Sweet Sixteen.

She was our first baby.

We can still remember the smell of her sweet puppy breath and imagine her soft, puppy fur.

Summer was a part of our family for sixteen years.  Our boys have only known life with a dog.

Now we are slowly adjusting to life without our sweet girl.

Each day that goes by is a little easier.  

But I still look out the backdoor expecting to see her black puppy dog nose pressed up against the glass, ready to come in.

I'm still quick to pick up fallen grapes or bits of chocolate chip cookies.

I still make extra scrambled eggs (her favorite) and save crusts when I am making PBJs.

I still listen out for her paws twitching and running in her sleep when I am watching tv in the evening.

And as I lock up at night, I can't help but feel a lump in my throat when I don't have to go through the familiar routine of giving Summer her pills, whispering goodnight and securing her in the back hall.    

Summer was part of us.  And she will be forever.  Justin put it best when he said the first chapter of Summer's life is over, but now we begin the second chapter, the one of our memories with her.

The bowls of popcorn shared.

Each baby coming home to meet her.

The swims and walks at Durant Nature Park.

Four-legged birthday parties.

Endless kisses and snuggles.

The night Summer passed away, we sat in our playroom and looked through the scrapbook I made of our first baby (yes, I have a scrapbook of our fur baby).  Then we watched a movie of Summer when she was a puppy.  The boys couldn't believe how small she had been and they cracked up when they saw a video of her with a trashcan lid stuck on her head.  There were many tears shed that night--still are--but the remembering was good for us all.

Our friends and vet have been so kind in helping us remember Summer and reminding us what a good dog she was.  Many friends and family members have called, sent cards and books, and shared memories.  Summer certainly was a special dog.  And she lived life to its fullest.

Summer's doctors sent a book and sweet card, and made a paw print for us.

My good friend Katie sent us a book called Dog Heaven, with a sweet message written inside. 

Carson coped his usual way, by making art.  

Camden is still confused about where she is.  When he asked why she didn't come home from the doctor's office with us, I told him Summer wasn't coming home, that she was in heaven.  He asked if God was a doctor.  I think that's a perfect way to look at it.  Summer's body is healed now in heaven, and God is her doctor.  She's running, playing, jumping, and swimming in her brand new, perfect body.

You will be missed Summy...Summerdog...Summerlina...Lina-lou...Lou-Lou...Lou.

{Here are some of my favorite books for explaining the death of a pet to children...and to adults...}

Dog Heaven

The Heaven of Animals

I'll Always Love You
{You can also read my PetPartners blog post, Through the Good Times and the Bad, for more books to read to your kids to ease the anxiety of life's ups and downs.}

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