Bests Friends Remembered, Paw Prints in our Heart!

It’s the time of year to be thankful for all the great blessings we have in our lives. We may not be rich. We may not have everything. However, there is always so much to be grateful for! Friends, family, those who protect us and more make that list.

Paw Prints in our heart- dogs

I wanted to take a moment to recall the furry family members we have been touched by. I, myself, have been lucky to receive the love of several of these unconditional love givers! There was Oscar, the Dachshund that I grew up with and even had my senior pictures taken with. Next my first husband came with Bear, a black Chow, who was a one family dog but oh so good to our family. The first dog I purchased was PJ a Bassett Hound. She had some issues but loved us and we loved her. My daughter then convinced me to rescue Snickers, who was a lab/springer mix. She was the first dog I was able to do some training with, while she wasn’t a hunting dog as she gun shy, she was able to learn so many other things. Then Jake moved in with us when I married John. He was a big Chocolate Lab (Jake not John). He was a hunting dog and tried to teach Snickers his game. She never quite got it but did have fun! I also must include Cheetah, the one and only cat I’ve ever had. He raised Snickers, as we got her young. Cheetah also put Jake in his place shortly after he moved in!

All of these four legged family members will always hold a place, and leave prints in my heart. Each one was so unique. Good things and bad, they were all loved and cared for and returned that love as nobody else can. We all know how unconditionally our pets love us, even if we don’t deserve it. I try to remember how undeserving I have felt at that time of loss. I try to be the person my dog believes I am! I try to not overreact when there is a little mischievous fur ball in action! We all have good times and not so good times and we all still want to be accepted and loved, I believe our pets feel the same!

When my loved ones got old they slowed down. They needed me just as much or more. They comforted me every day of their lives. They greeted me when I got home, or were thrilled to go along! When I had a bad day they seemed to know and always wanted to make it better. If I was happy and dancing in the kitchen, each and every one of them danced along! I truly believe that they all made me a better person. If I could be half the person my pets believed I was I would be amazing!

When they no longer appeared to enjoy life and were suffering and unhappy it was my love for them that helped them through or at least that’s what I want to believe. I was there with each of them until the end, with one exception. I was there to hold them, talk to them, and explain there would be “no more worries”. I tried to appear strong, but was completely falling apart inside. I know they knew how I was feeling as they did their entire life, why would now be different. They snuggled up with me as I held them and let the release of the pain and suffering come. Warm and safe in my arms until the very end, one more thing I am thankful for, the ability to help them cross peacefully and know they were always loved! Now as tears roll down my cheeks remembering each and everyone one of those moments I am thankful. Thankful for the love of each and every one of them, thankful for them making me a better person, and thankful I could give them peace when they needed it most.

Written  By:

Sandy Apfel

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