Valentine’s Day is bittersweet for me this year. I am suffering from a dog-sized hole in my heart after the loss last week of my four-legged baby, Radar. I’m broken-hearted that I won’t get any more doggie kisses from him or see that look of love for me on his sweet face.
As wonderful as it is to have a fur baby, you go into the relationship knowing that it won’t end well. You will fall in love with your canine, but the relationship is doomed to last only a few short years. Your pet will age, slow down, perhaps suffer from physical issues, and then leave you behind to mourn.
Those who have never had the unconditional love of a dog have no idea what they have missed. With a dog, there is a celebration every day. He is thrilled to have you walk in the door. It doesn’t matter if you have been at work all day or out grocery shopping for an hour. Your arrival makes him deliriously happy. You are the center of his universe. You can basically do no wrong. Ever forget to feed your dog? He won’t give you the cold shoulder or hold a grudge.
Dogs can sense your deepest emotions often better than any human ever could. A dog knows just when you need that doggie kiss to cheer you up. He is happy to lick the tears right off your face and does not demand an explanation about what is going on. He is simply concerned about you and wants to love on you.
Radar is gone, but he leaves behind so many happy memories. Here are a few:
–Radar had cute perky ears that stood straight up; hence he was given the name Radar at the vet’s. It was a perfect fit for him, so we didn’t change it when we adopted him.
–Since Radar was a rescue puppy, we had no idea what his actual background was. We suspected that he might have been part pit, but who knows? My husband just took to telling people who asked what he was that Radar was a “Florida Brown Dog.”
–Radar was all Alpha dog. He had to make sure any dog in our house knew he was the top dog. I had to pull him off of our younger dog Oryo in the back yard one day. Radar could’ve ripped her to shreds, but he was just proving a point and simply nicked Oryo’s face.
–Radar may have been gruff with other dogs to assert his Alpha position, but he was a pushover for our pussycat, Mocha. Mocha would lovingly walk over to where Radar was lying down and rub against him. Sometimes she’d even lick his nose. And he allowed her do it.
–If we let Radar out in the backyard, he knew exactly what to do if we didn’t come to retrieve him as quickly as he wanted us to. He’s simply squeeze through the fence and walk around to the front door and wait patiently and quietly for us to open it.
–Radar loved to take trips to the bank drive through on Saturday mornings. The tellers would send dog treats back with my deposit receipt. I don’t know who enjoyed it more–Radar eating his treat or me watching him anticipate getting it. I found myself making excuses to have to go to the bank just so I could take him.
–As Radar got older, he suffered from arthritis. He couldn’t get up on the bed by himself anymore, and he got up on the couch with great difficulty. Often my husband or I would pick him up and place him there. We called him our “flying dog.”
–Lying down on our tile kitchen floor was not very comfortable for Radar, so we put a couple of small rugs in the entryway to the kitchen on which he could rest. He’d oversee the kitchen activities from this spot. I got lots of step exercising done this way because you’d have to step over Radar to get in and out of the kitchen.
–Radar enjoyed going on sleepovers to my brother-in-law’s house. My elderly father-in-law lives there, and Radar would stay in the room with him to keep him company while my brother-in-law was at work. They were both elderly gentlemen and connected on some level. My brother-in-law’s three year old granddaughter was taken with Radar and was always asking where “Daydar” was.
–Radar was no dummy. When I took him to the vet one time, he was aware what was up and that he wasn’t particularly going to enjoy it. He was on his leash and kept dragging me over to the door as if to say, “Please let me out. I don’t want to be here.”
–Radar had an affinity for plastic. Forget chew toys, His favorite thing to chew on was a remote control. We went through umpteen of them because he kept finding one and chomping on it.
–Radar was as much a part of the family as our children. When the kids were grown, he still got to go with my husband and me to cut down our Christmas tree at a Christmas tree farm in an adjoining county.
–Radar’s favorite part of a walk was to stop and lie down in the soft grass across the street from the post office. He’d roll around and get comfy. He would not budge until he’d had his fill of being on that grass.
–When Radar was having medical problems, an ultrasound had to be done. His little tummy had to be shaved. I was allowed to come in and talk to him and soothe him as the procedure was being performed. I was there for my daughter’s ultrasound when she was pregnant, and I was there for my fur baby’s diagnostic procedure.
–My faith is very important to me, and I exposed Radar to it. He was taken more than once to a blessing of the animals service at a local church. Radar blessed me so much with his doggie love, how could I not have him blessed?
I eagerly look forward to the day when I will see Radar again. I firmly believe that he will be in heaven with me. No, that’s no just a cute movie title, it’s faith based. God loves animals. Why Jesus was even placed in a manger (an ANIMAL’s feeding trough) after he was born. (Luke 2:7) John saw a white horse as heaven was standing open. (Rev. 19:11) Don’t think that God would have horses in heaven but exclude dogs. There will be no mourning in heaven (Rev. 21:4), so that must mean our beloved departed dogs will be there with us, and we will no longer be separated. Looking forward to a heavenly reunion, but I am struggling with the hell of the earthly loss of my fur baby, Radar.