Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Dog Named Dillon - Personal Reflections

A family photo - three sisters with Dillon

There are times when we mere mortals meet the love of our life – oddly shaped, with wagging tail, pleasing smiles, and begging for more attention than one might feel capable of giving. The perfect complement to any family or individual would be the noble dog. More of than not, being burdened with life in general, a child brings home, or begs to have that cuddly puppy that they will care for, if only you will let them bring him or her home. That is how Dillon came into our family; my nephew brought him home to my sister who quickly became Dillon’s “mom”. Dillon, a perfect Welsh Springer spaniel, full of love and quiet patience, a member of the family who saw my sister through much of life’s joys and trials - a marriage, and the loss of our parents, her husband and our sister.

Dilly, as she calls him, loves his treats, his bed, and has tolerated, Suzie, the big calico that came to be adopted when our oldest sister passed away. Dillon loved to play with Camilla, my puggle, and give a wide berth to Maxmillon, my Napoleonic daschund. As he aged, and Oscar, our field beagle, appeared to amuse Dillon, who watched as Oscar bayed his way around the yard while we visited. Dillon loves visitors, sitting in the big bay window, wiggling his entire body as one walks up the drive. His soft, wavy fur and big smile, to match his huge heart are, perhaps, his finest attributes.

Tonight, Dillon is gravely ill, and my sister’s heart is breaking and mine is breaking for her.

Dillon will be euthanized tomorrow, as he suffers from cancers, and renal failure – we are told that this is the kindest way to treat an “animal”. Yet, while our minds may suggest this to be true, our hearts cannot bear being the ones to say the last goodbye.

Surely, there is a place in heaven for our best friends who share our best and worst times. Surely, there is a greater purpose that we share with our companions that, to some of us, are greater than most humans. For those who hold our best friends in such high esteem, it is, at times such as these, that we suffer most, grieve harder, and wish that dogs lived the same lifespan as we. Dillon is a brave and stalwart, loving and patient friend and he will be sorely missed. Perhaps, after all, God may bring them home sooner, to enjoy peace, while they wait patiently until we join them.

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