This blog’s twist since the day I opened up shop a few weeks ago is that it a blog about dogs…told from the perspective of the dogs themselves. I can write forever on the cherished life of Josh, but I don’t know how much justice I can really provide.
Josh: Well, I guess if you are sitting there typing this up, it means I am no longer there. But trust me, I am there – I am always going to be there in some way, shape, or form. Whether it be through Jeter or Alanis or any dog you may have in the future – they all will learn things that were passed down due to your experiences with me.
When you are a dog, the concept of time is meaningless. If we run around a meadow as a 5-day old puppy or as a 15-year old senior, it all means the same to us. We don’t care if we live for five days or 5,000 days – we just live. We celebrate every day we are on Earth because we have no other choice – it is what we do. While it was certainly great to be four years old and running around on the beach, I still enjoyed my time as a 12-year old dog with little mobility. If I was happy, you were happy. If you were happy, I was happy. That was always the goal in this relationship.
I know you will grieve over my passing and that you will miss me. (Because how can one not miss all of my beauty, inside and out?), but always think two great thoughts for every sad one – you will find that it is easier to move on that way. Never think about what may have gone wrong, because in my eyes, everything you did was right – even if it didn’t always go the way that was planned.
I remember the day you brought me home – crazy people coming up to the mountains of Pennsylvania after a snow storm for little ol’ me. (OK, there was never anything little about me – from the size of my body to the size of my personality to the size of my heart. Am I bragging? Perhaps, but I know it to be true). I remember my Mommy instantly falling in love with me (so much so that I instantly farted – something I would continue to do all the way back home to New Jersey. I found it funny). I remember the woman saying “I will leave for a bit so you can discuss”, and you taking a minute to say “OF COURSE WE’LL TAKE HIM!” It was a scary but fun first night. Conquering those darn stairs was hard for me, but once I did, I was unstoppable.
Through the years, I was a little bit of everything all rolled up in one big, giant ball of fur. I was the playful, crazy dog that pranced around the house carrying a big toy with eight legs that my parents called a “turtle” (Silly humans – it was a SPIDER!). I was the dog that would lay by your side when you weren’t feeling well. I was the dog who had the “Josh Patrol” – Iate at night, when my parents were watching TV, I would get up and just start walking through all the downstairs rooms, looking through the windows as if I was on guard duty. I was the dog that could be next to you one moment, and off in my own little world the next. I would walk on the beach for miles, collecting sea shells – I would run out in the snow, rolling around in it as if I was a polar bear. When I was young, I would go outside at the crack of dawn just so I could run through the sprinklers. I was an imp, but I didn’t care – after all, any mess I made, my parents would have to clean up.
I loved going for walks around the neighborhood, greeting everyone who walked by regardless if they wanted to pet me or not. (trust me, most of them ended up having no choice BUT to pet me). I loved hopping in the car to go for rides, no matter how long or short they were. My parents took me everywhere. I had the life of a king, and one of my nicknames was King Josh.
When my parents brought home a bunny rabbit, I didn’t miss a beat. I loved that little guy for the short time we had together. When they brought home Jeter, I welcomed him with open paws, even if he was a little pain in the ass. When I met Alanis, well – at that point, I had reached retirement and wanted nothing to do with her lunacy. I met her in a dog park – gave her a few sniffs and ran off. That was the Josh Stamp of Approval.
I can go on and on, but I am getting tired – and seriously, I would rather eat and drink than type up a full memoir.
To my mommy: Thank you for everything. I was your Great Protector because I knew how much you loved me. You showered me with so much love and affection, and of course, TREATS! (the way to a Golden’s heart is through the treat bag). You say that I was the perfect dog – well, you were the perfect owner that molded me into the perfect dog. Our beauty shines through our owners.
To my daddy: Thanks for all of the walks and constantly playing with me. You know I will always be Mommy’s dog, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t appreciate what you gave. (I would have been happier with less vet visits though. I swear that early on he would take me to the vet if I had a hangnail)
To Jeter: Carry on the tradition, my friend. You were a pain in the ass at times, but you would always give me kisses at the end of our play time. Those kisses continued to happen just about every day even when my playing days were over. You were my first partner in crime, and we shared so many days on the beach and meatballs in our bowls. I loved the 7+ years we had together.
To Alanis: Sorry for snapping at you that one time, but you deserved it for constantly trying to make an old dog play with you. Seriously though – my Daddy has said you share some of my traits (don’t get cocky – I didn’t say ALL of my traits! I never ripped through drywall or couch cushions!) Continue to mature and blossom into the dog you are becoming. Part of me actually loved it when I would see you torment Jeter – PAYBACK!
To all of those who came in contact with me: Thanks for all the welcomes, all the meatballs, all the Milk Bones, and all of the love. I know people in this neighborhood loved my wagging tail when I was walking, and I always overheard Daddy tell Mommy how people asked about me when I could no longer go for walks. It is always nice to be loved, even by those who don’t know you.
My life was full and my journey was complete. I hope that one day people can sit back and think about how dogs view the world, and try to envision it like we do. No greed (except when it comes to TREATS!), no hate, no fighting over petty differences. Live today as if tomorrow isn’t even on the calendar – don’t be limited by the numbers on a clock or the next page of a calendar. The next number may never come, and the next page may never be turned.
The circle of life is often not fair, in the mind of humans. For me, the circle of life was perfectly fair and overwhelmingly positive. I stamped my paw print in the lives of many, left their lives knowing they were better for having known me than if they didn’t, and never let a second go by without appreciating everything. What was not to love? I know not of death – I only know life. And damn, was it ever precious.
Love to everyone –
Me: Josh will forever be missed by us – he was a special dog with special traits that just don’t come around often. He was the type of dog you could easily take for granted because he really never did ANYTHING wrong. We tried not to fall into that trap, though. He was loved not only by us, but an ENTIRE neighborhood of people who often commented about him when we would walk by. I don’t know where this decade + went, but I DO know that it wouldn’t have been the same without him. Rest in peace, dear friend. Hope the rainbow bridge is filled with gourmet treats and plenty of fuzzy “turtles”. We love you.