This past week I had to lay my Photon to sleep. It was one of the saddest moments in recent memory. My heart was heavy and numb. My tears flow for the loss of a great companion and love. And they just keep coming. He was old and I could see he was not comfortable in his own body. I was sure he wanted to go sooner but I asked him to stay longer for my sake. Before I left for vacation, I knew he was planning to leave me. I told him he couldn’t leave yet but he just looked at me and walked away. No hugs. No begging. Just butt and tail putting distance between us.
For those of you who knew him, you know what a great kid he was. He has always been my “oldest child”, the best 4-legged kid imaginable. He was tender and kind, never aggressive, even when he was attacked. He was always the “big brother” to my other children. He didn’t really welcome any of the 2-legged kids as they played aggressively with him. But he watched over them vigilantly. He would tell on them when they tried to climb out of their crib and got stuck halfway. He would get me whenever one of them is hanging midair between a buffet table and a stool. Ever the doting brother, he slept with them wherever possible, as it was the only moment of peace he got during the day.
Before the 2-legged kids came along, it was just he and I. He was my priority. I taught him sign language as well as audio commands in preparation for old age as his hearing or eyesight would waiver. We performed a lot of cool tricks. Okay, maybe only one was cool but the rest were good. I would shoot him and he laid down to play dead. It entertained me every time. Or, to trick him to come out for his bath, I would say, “Oh, nobody is hugging mommy.” Slowly, he would emerge from under the bed to put his head on my shoulder. Then into sink he went. How that trick never falters is beyond me.
When we were attacked in the park, he was so brave. I told him it was going to be alright and he believed me. After a week at the vet with a couple of surgeries, I took him home to care for him 24/7. My office and patients got to know him during that period. He became our “little guy”. Everyday for weeks we would change his bandage in between patients. We took turns cuddling with him and getting him to exercise. Patients would have him on their lap for comfort and calming effect. He was the star of our office. He even got Christmas cards and became a model for a doggy calendar.
At home, I remember thinking I cannot date anyone my dog does not like. Funny enough, my dog liked everybody. But it was my husband that I saw Photon warms to the most. He came over every night to help take care of Photon when his body was healing. My eyes were swollen from crying so much at the sight of torture on my poor baby’s back. My husband’s support was heart-warming. He never missed a day, even when he was traveling for work. He came right back home, past midnight to be there for us. From that, I knew he was the one and we were just friends.
Photon has always been my protector, even at only 12 pounds max. He kept me feeling safe when we were home alone. He loved me unconditionally, never asking for anything but food and water. He put up with me dressing him in baby or doggy clothes. He traveled throughout the US with me, putting up with air sickness. From the bottom of my heart, I cannot thank him enough for being with me when he wanted to leave. He has been a great companion to a crazy woman for 16 years without judgment or delusion. He loved me for me, his mommy. I could not have asked for a better puppy. May God hold him close in Heaven and bless his little soul with a healthier body to run around in. I know he knows I love him from beginning to end. And I know he loves me, too. We had a fantastic life together. I love you, Photon, my little pocket of energy.