I’ve had a hard time writing this.  It’s been almost 4 months since we said good bye to our “first born”, Patriot.  It still brings me to tears to think of him.

Patriot was the puppy that needed me as much as I needed him.  Patriot was our introduction into the crazy world of Weimaraners.  We first saw him at just a few days old.  12 1/2 years later we said our final good bye.  We went through so much with him, from chasing deer deep into the woods to a 6 month struggle with what turned out to be an allergic reaction to (of all things) fabric softener to digestive issues that after extensive and expensive testing returned a plastic buckle.  Not to mention the completely devoured leather belt, then countless shoes and shoe laces…

PICT1073But through out his life, Patriot was so much more than just a pet.  He tapped into the deepest part of my heart when he was just a tiny pup wanting nothing more than to be held and to be loved.  He endured long days at home alone and reviled in the joy of our return.  He waited at the door more times than I can count for his best friend and mine, my husband Rich.  His heart tie to Rich was tight.  There were days I could have gone without all the barking; Patriot was never short for ‘stories’.  But his love was genuine and deep and profound.  And I miss him.  As much as Jingo was my dog, Patriot belonged to Rich.  He loved us all, but Rich was his buddy.

When we learned that the tumor on his liver was “huge” and inoperable, we decided that rather than go away on our long awaited family vacation knowing he was so sick, we would help him to end his battle at home with us by his side.  Our normally ravenous food thief seemed to want to savor and enjoy his last meal of cheeseburgers.  He took unusual little bites, careful not to nip our fingers.  And then he laid down on the bed we prepared for him as if he knew it was time.  He was ready.  As he took his last breath, Rich was right there, soothing him with his voice and pressing his head against Patriot’s.  It is an image I will never forget.  Their love was intense and I know Patriot would not have survived the 10 day separation from us.

My words now seem weak and few for the love shared between us.  But my heart is still broken and finding the words is difficult….


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