When we started fostering the senior Goldens for the rescue almost 7 years ago, I knew that our time with them would be limited. But I felt strongly that these dogs that had been dealt a bad hand at the end of their lives, and who had so much wisdom, dignity and courage, should have a place to live out whatever time they had left, and leave this life with someone who truly cared about them. These Goldens have broken my heart when they left us. But I have never looked back and regretted for a moment taking in any of them, in fact, if given the chance, I would do it all over again. I feel that we have been given an extraordinary gift to love and be loved unconditionally in return. Maguire was no exception. I have no regrets in opening my heart and our home to him just a year and-a-half ago. While I've no idea what his life was like before he came to us, how old he was, or what his name had been, I know that the last part of his life, was one where he was cared for and loved. Letting him go today was a difficult choice. It was a lonely journey at times trying to decide what was best. But today, as I looked into Maguire's eyes and saw that love and the trust, my doubts left me, and I knew we had made the right choice and the best choice. I know that Maguire is now in a place where he can enjoy those things that he was no longer able to in this life. I have a candle lit to help him find his way, and I so hope he was met by our Goldens, Tod, Ben, Cougar, Tosh, Tucker, Scout, Kasey, Logan, Cubby and Cowboy and he has given them our message.
We left the vets office and decided to have a light lunch. As we sat there with Maguire's collar on the table, our waiter politely asked us about it. When we told him, he joined us in a toast to Maguire and our memories. Carl and I then had our lunch and recounted stories of him and the others that have gone before him.
We were feeling a bit uplifted although worn out and tired, and I was so looking forward to getting home and spending time with our other dogs. But it was not meant to be. When we got home, we found that one of the dogs had gotten sick several times while we were gone. We quickly realized it was Tanner, (our 13 year old Golden who was treated for glaucoma) and he was having difficulties standing and his eyes were moving side-to-side . Having had this happen with another senior Golden, I knew it was Geriatric Vestibular Syndrome. Off to the Animal Emergency Room. But not before I was stopped for speeding by one of Loudoun County's finest police officers...I quickly explained what my day had been and I opened the door to my van and showed him Tanner; I was off with a warning. I will spare you the details of my visit to the animal ER, and just say that Tanner is resting and has been given medications. It's hard to trust a vet that you've never met, but I am hoping and praying that we are on the right track and Tanner will be okay. How much more can my old and broken heart take?
Godspeed Maguire, my big handsome boy...