06/06/2003 – 01/30/2019
My dear sweet Rein, It’s still so fresh I struggle for the right words to say to you. All I know is that the house is so empty without the sound of your thumping tail and the nights are lonely without your snores. The beds you once slept in are now empty, your vast wardrobe of sweaters and shirts are now neatly folded away. Your bowl is forever empty. I take comfort in the fact that I saved you so many years ago as a puppy and we had each other for 15 years.
You were a tiny puppy that I’d seen with neighbor kids often running after them down the sidewalk a tiny black ball with little legs and a tiny tail. When I saw you again you were laying next door outside the duplex, no collar, larger now but very alone and scared. Dubbed with the name “maggot” by some neighborhood boys and forced through horrible situations. I never had enough to prove anything but their was talk from my neighbor friends who lived next to your new “owners” about you being kicked and trained to fight with their older dog. I had lost my childhood dog a few months before and was still struggling but it looked like you needed a friend.
So I grabbed some nutty bars, sat out on the sidewalk and tossed little pieces to you. You’d run over grab them and run away. For an entire week, right after school and every weekend I spent the time with you trying to gain your trust and saying nice things to you. When you finally came and let me pet you I knew we had something. I was able to get you to my house and into my lap where we talked and snuggled on the porch.
Your “owners” came over the next day and asked if I wanted you and I didn’t have to think twice and I took you home. My parents, my sister, your dalmatian cousin and your new Norwegian elkhound sister all agreed you were family. That night you followed me to bed, got in bed with me and crawled up my shirt to lay against my back. The next day was your first chew bone, teaching you to play with toys and romping with your new family in the backyard. I remember your first snow, I made snow balls for you and your sister and thew them in the air and you’d catch them with your mouth and have them explode in your face.
The ice cream bucket you’d fill with snow and dump over your own head. At first you did run away, you weren’t used to the closed space and I spent many long cold mornings out in my pjs running around trying to get you back home. Than more time digging up the yard and laying chicken wire under the chain link fence with rocks over it but you eventually decided that you didn’t mind the new barriers. You went to family’s houses with me and you spent several weekends with me and my best friend at her house. You left a mark on everyone you met.
Even though you and your sister didn’t always get along, much like sisters do, you two forgave each other as the years went on and I know you missed her once she was gone. You were there for me through so much, losing my dad, my first breakup, moving from my hometown and moving into my first house. Struggling through my anxiety you were always there to snuggle with me and let me know things were ok. People should be so lucky to have that kind of love and support in their lives.
It was so hard to believe that 15 years had gone by so quickly and harder still to believe you’re gone. Waking up that morning it seemed like any other and I started our routine as always. Getting your medicine, getting you outside to potty and making your breakfast. You wouldn’t eat but sometimes you didn’t want to first thing in the morning. So the day went on, you couldn’t stand, you were trembling and I knew something was wrong.
Taking you into the vet, I hoped beyond hope that it was something curable and I tried very hard to keep positive. Hearing that you couldn’t feel your back legs and that they suspected a tumor or a slipped disc I knew you weren’t going home with me. We were given other options but I knew putting you through anymore wasn’t right and prolonging the inevitable would only cause you pain. So we prepared to say goodbye for the last time. I stroked your fur, cuddled you and told you how much I love you.
I held you until the end and I never wanted to let go. I kissed you over and over leaving you was the hardest thing I had to do. A week later you came home to me, your urn is a beautiful blue metal and your paw print is absolutely perfect. I still find myself expecting to see you in the living room or laying on your bed in the bed room just not quite ready to start your day. I find myself in tears at odd times just doing everyday things and I know a part of me was taken when you left.
I now have a Rein shaped hole that no one can fill and I feel so lonely without you. I’ll save up to have a stuffed animal made of you to snuggle with and anything else I can to keep you close to me. You were my best friend, my baby, my protector and so much more that I can’t put into words. When we see each other again I can’t wait for the jump that knocks me to the ground and those big slobbery Rein kisses that I know are waiting for me. Until I can hold you again my sweet baby Rein
Mommy loves you and misses you every day.
– April Franklin
In Memory of Rein Marrison Franklin