Some very close friends had to say goodbye to a much loved and special member of the family a few weeks ago and I thought I owed it to him to write a little tribute to someone that meant so much to so many.
I’m talking about their goofy and lovable yellow lab, Rascal who had been with them for many, many wonderful years.
Rascal was one of those dogs that would put a smile on your face without having to do much more than come running when he saw you, his tail wagging a mile a minute and threatening to steer him off course due to its exuberance. He wasn’t a good hunter, a long jumping water dog (although he loved visiting my pool when the mood hit him), he wasn’t a service dog helping the disabled, and he wasn’t a particularly talented performer. But he was the perfect dog. “He was every man’s dog.” He chased a ball any time you asked, and he dug holes in the yard better than any high-priced excavator. He was a warm pillow on a cold evening, the perfect vacuum cleaner when errant food hit the floor, but best of all, he was a wonderful friend to three children as they grew from toddlers to young adults. He didn’t mind having his ears pulled or his belly tickled. Rascal made for a handy scapegoat when cookies “just happened” to disappear from the pantry. He had infinite patience and never got tired of listening. He even listened to me a few times when things were tough. There was no judgment in those big brown eyes and things always seemed better after a few minutes in his company.
Rascal got old like we all do and life got tougher with each passing year, until the point when difficult decisions had to be made. I’ve made the same decision a couple of times and it’s never easy to say goodbye to a member of the family who gave so much without meaning to. Compassion has to prevail and we have to let go. Rascal was allowed to move on with dignity after spending his last night and following morning surrounded by the ones that cared for and loved him so much.
I truly believe that all dogs go to heaven so we’ll get the chance to play together again buddy, but until that day, just enjoy doing what dogs do…Chasing balls, sniffing all those interesting smells, digging innumerable holes, and taking naps in the afternoon sun.
Brian “Beastman” Eastman
White River Fly shop