It was January 2001. After four years, Dave and I decided we were ready to become parents to a puppy — you know that next step before you try your hand at trying not to screw up children. So, yeah, in typical fashion, we started with a dog, hoping that responsibility would not mystify us. While I had brought a feline to our wedded bliss, cats are just not the same animal in terms of attention.
While Dave was not yet convinced that we should be puppy parents, I obsessed over it (as I do with most things), reading our local paper for any free or cheap puppies — I had already been informed we were not spending hundreds of dollars on anything fluffy no matter how cute. It took a two-hour hike at Devil’s Punch Bowl in the snow where I worked on breaking Dave down about calling this family in White Fence Farms who had free Golden Retriever puppies to a loving home. Although I’m not usually known for my nagging (Type A’s tend to skip the nagging and just do what they want regardless….), I knew I had to get his buy-in on this one.
It was done the moment we arrived and we saw the puppies. This little guy came up to Dave and promptly untied his shoe. He was a goner. After an interview to prove that we were responsible and loving parents, he came home with us. Born November 2000, this little guy was ready to leave his family although he wasn’t sure at the time, but we knew he was the perfect addition.
Home he came and was quickly named Becks, our beer of choice at the time. And, there he stayed for 13 years. When Dylan was born, he had a sniff and from then on he was fiercely protective of him as he was of Liam who followed. He was glued to one of us at all times and was easily won over with a belly rub. I remember the endless stuffed toys that he dissected in minutes, the cones he managed to remove from his neck after a trip to the vet, and the puppy peanut butter ice cream on a hot day that he lapped up. In the last few years of his life, he was my daily companion or protector of the pool or fluffy pillow while we hung out in the spa.
Sure, you know it’s coming one of these days but there is no moment where you truly know what it will feel like to no longer have your fluffy loved one.
Since Becks has been the only dog I’ve ever had, it’s been hitting me hard the last few weeks, especially when I sit outside with my coffee. I sit facing the other way so I don’t look at his empty dog house that Dave built him. I know it’s there, waiting for a new family member, but I wasn’t prepared for a grieving process that has me feeling this way.
This weekend, we went to the mountains to hang at our friends’ cabin with them. They brought their three-year old German Shepherd, Daisy. While I instantly missed Becks, thinking he would have had a blast in the mountains, digging for gophers with Daisy, I also looked forward to the day we could bring a new fluff bundle up there. It’s such a mix of emotions. They are your family member and faithful companion. The day we had to put him to sleep, he laid there and just couldn’t get up. I knew it was time. Yet, he still lifted his head and wagged his tail at us. His love was there until the final moment. That’s just something I can never forget. Time heals, right?
Miss you, Becks……Hope you are hanging with Toonces, the Driving Cat, on the Rainbow Bridge