Early on, the hardest part was opening Madeline’s door in the morning and expecting to see Genevieve’s eager eyes and wagging tail waiting for me on the other side. My sweet dog always greeted me and greeted the day with such enthusiasm.
No, actually, the hardest part was tucking Madeline in at night. Genevieve would patter down the steps with Madeline and hop on the end of her bed. She’d turn around twice and flop down with her head resting on Madeline’s leg. Now, I kiss Madeline goodnight, and we both look at the end of the bed and sigh.
Wait. Really, it’s hardest to come home after we’ve been in town. For thirteen years, every time we returned home she’d rush to greet us and welcome us home. I miss that.
Oh, gosh, no! When Madeline, Sammy, and I gather on the couches to read our history lesson and our read aloud books together, that’s the hardest part. Genevieve loved being read to. She especially loved the years we read through the Hank the Cowdog series. If she was outside when we started reading, she’d come running and look in through the screen in the window as if we’d betrayed her: how could you start reading without me, her eyes would say. Yeah, that’s the hardest part.
It’s also hard to walk past the spot where we kept her food and water dishes.
It’s hard to look out over the ranch and know she isn’t running around out there.
Sometimes I forget. The other day when the house was quiet, I walked over to the door thinking that Genevieve had been outside for a while and probably wanted to come in. I opened the door, then I remembered, and I stood there in the doorway feeling the sadness. The house was still and quiet, and she wasn’t coming back.
It’s not as if I’m desolate and sad all day. I’m not. Genevieve was old, and losing a pet is sad, but I have perspective. Most of all, I have gratitude.
I couldn’t be any more thankful for Genevieve. I’ve had other dogs… and well, Genevieve was special.
I’m thankful that thirteen years ago Caroline cried huge tears and implored me to understand that it was God’s will for us to have THIS dog. This girl who has always had wisdom beyond her years convinced me not only that this dog needed us, but that we needed THIS dog. She was so right.
I’m thankful for the thirteen years this little fur-covered creature loved me and loved my family.
I’m thankful for Genevieve’s lack of entitlement and her abundance of loyalty and devotion; she was a perfect companion.
A beautiful gift.
Rest in peace my sweet Genevieve.