There was an animated movie we saw many years earlier with the name of the title of this blog. We now take comfort in these words as we prepare for our dog, Lola, to go to heaven tomorrow. Nearly 15 years ago this little bucket of love was brought into our lives. She was joined by her half-sister, Zena, who arrived a year earlier and left us for heaven two years ago.
Both were Yellow Labs, but very different. Zena, was an over-weight puge-cake with a square face and had to lay atop us. She never saw herself as the 80lb pooch she was, but a 7lb puppy. She would run from a Chiwawa, but demand her spot on the bed or couch. Comfort was her motto and love her mission. She also fancied herself an Olympic athlete…a swimmer or track star, though her body was more of the sumo wrestler variety.
Lola, was brilliant and masterful. As a puppy, we had contained her to the entrance area of the house during her house training. However, whenever we left the house we would return to find Lola had done the great escape and left little presents – evidence of her Houdini-like abilities – all over the house. But how? She was too small to jump the fence and too big to slip through the fence openings. One day, as we returned home, the question was answered. We peered through the glass door to watch Lola climbing the fence!
Lola was the athlete. Always 10lbs lighter than Zena - she was Air Lola. She would hurdle over a 4ft wave as she jumped to fetch the toy in the ocean. She was never on top of us like Zena, she always lay by our side. She was the first to learn and the first to please.
As time passed, the jumps became hops and runs became long walks that are now short. She is thin, but not frail. Alert and not deaf. But she has a large tumor to which nature calls.
There are tears as we write this as a burdensome sadness washes over us. Our hearts ache and fingers shake, but we know it is time. Any longer is but our selfish desire not to let go.
We brace ourselves for the morrow, but rejoice her life today. The weekend we have. The long goodbye we take comfort. With this writing we share the blessing of her life. The wonders of a family. The joys of so many memories.
So, dear Lola, we’ll be gathered tonight, as so many before, around the television with you at our side. We’ll watch a movie, stroke your head, and give you an extra helping of kisses for tomorrow morning you’ll depart, and with tearing eyes, we’ll press our lips to your head for a final goodnight. All this while remembering that all dogs go to heaven!