This blog is about travel and hiking, but the love of my life is a dog. His name is Bruno, and he went to heaven on Tuesday January 4th. He almost made it to 17 years old. There are simply no words to express how much he meant to me and how much I am going to miss him. He was my world. He made me smile every day, showed me unconditional love, and was just the perfect dog every single day. He was adopted from a humane society in Georgia in 2008. He was a really great walking buddy, a fierce protector of my house, and a comedian sometimes. Rolling in the grass was sheer joy for him. He made the funniest pleasure noises when he played or rolled in the grass. He was my copilot in the car, always standing with his front feet on the center console. He has traveled with me to the beach in St Simons GA. He has hiked sections of the Appalachian trail including Blood Mountain. Our favorite trail to walk together was the Hike Inn trail at Amicalola Falls State Park. Our last real hike together was at Frozen Head State park in Tennessee. He got to where he could only make it around the neighborhood block this last year. But, he was up for it every day, even with a spring in his step.
On New Year’s Eve we went out for our normal walk and I could tell right away he was not himself. He was very very slow and was dragging his feet at times. This is the walk we do every single day, but he was looking around at everything as if it was the last time he was going to see everything. I suddenly felt like I was punched in the stomach because I knew something was off. We continued our walk very slowly, and I let him sniff everything he wanted to for as long as he wanted to. As we arrived to the driveway closer to the house, I saw tears coming out of his eyes. I am very connected to him and I sensed that was possibly our last walk. I took him to the vet because he has acted this way before when he had a fever and infection. Sadly the vet informed me he was in liver failure. He was fine for a few days and then declined quickly Monday night and Tuesday morning. He wanted to follow me around as usual but he just didn’t have the strength. I sensed he was trying to stay alive for me, to comfort me in my tearfulness and sadness. I laid by his side all day Tuesday, and I went to get him some french fries because he always loved those. The vet made a house call for me in the afternoon and he was able to pass away peacefully with my other dog Leah and I by his side. Helping him to the rainbow bridge was hard but the agony of watching him suffer was much worse. When I went to lie down after the vet left with him, I closed my eyes and said his name and right away I saw him rolling in the grass. He is happy and will be my Angel watching over me.
I learned so much from my sweet Bruno. One thing that amazed me is how he acted so young even when he was old and sick. He enjoyed his good days to the utmost.
If you have a dog, please treasure every moment with them.