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SaddleNotIncluded

And Always His Eyes Say

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This was written by one of my friends about her Rainbow Bridge dog, Woolie. I thought it would be best appreciated here, of all places. I have permission to post.

Trigger warning; emotional: sadness warning

It was a day like any other day. Every day starts the same with Woolie.

I wake up and swing my feet out of bed. At the foot of my bed is Woolie's bed, the same bed he's had for a year now. Woolie will bounce to his feet, ready to go. As I get up, he'll wag his tail and follow me. I stand at the back door, cold air swirling around my bare legs, squinting into the sun as he does his morning business and chases the birds.

He'll circle my legs and bark, his bright eager face smiling up at me.

I'll shower and he'll sit on the bathmat, pressing his nose against the glass. On my side, I'll crouch down, wipe away the fog and press my hand against the glass. Woolie will lift his paw and press it against mine; two hands separated only by a whisper. It was the first trick he learned.

I sit at the table and eat my toast. Woolie only eats the crust if it has no spreads or butter. He weaves between the chair legs, toenails clicking, sniffing and grinning. Mum says, Woolie, no, Woolie bad, but I see her slip him a biscuit. She loves Woolie. We all do.

I'll get dressed for school and leave, pausing to cup his muzzle in my hand and whisper "Be good". He's always been good. Woolie always listens.

When I get home we'll eat together. He sits at my feet as I do my homework. He groans at the appropriate places and sighs in impatience. I sip my Milo and curl my toes into his wiry coat. He squirms and licks my toes. I feel his heartbeat thumping through my feet, right up my legs.

We burst out of the front door like leaves on the wind, running to the park, sunset in our hair, youthful coltish limbs and white teeth flashing.

When I'm tired he races me home. I follow, laughing all the way. We have much to do before tomorrow, but always his eyes say "Are you sure?"

Today is a day like any other day. Every day starts the same with Woolie.

I wake up and swing my feet out of bed. At the foot of my bed is Woolie's bed, the same bed he's had for 15 years now.

Woolie slowly opens his eyes and blinks. I kneel next to his bed and rub his legs. I whisper, come on old man. Let's go. He struggles to his feet, and I support his back legs so he can stand straight. I pick him up and wrap him in my gown and carry him outside. I stand on the wet grass and gently coax him to "Wee wee Woolie". He blinks blearily in the light and sighs. The birds flit around him teasingly, but Woolie doesn't see them any more.

I'll shower and he'll sit on the bathmat.. On my side, I'll crouch down, wipe away the fog and press my hand against the glass. Woolie will blink at his feet. I tap on the glass and call "woolie, Woolie, paw". Woolie stares over his shoulder, then sees me through the glass. His tail swishes on the tiles. He slowly lifts his paw and presses it against mine; two hands separated only by a whisper. It was the first trick he learned.

I sit at the table and eat my toast. The kids fight over the sugar bowl. Woolie only eats the crust if it has no spreads or butter. He sits underneath my chair, staring at the floor. The kids reach below the table and scratch his ears, coaxing "Woolie, Woolie, weetbix, Woolie. Woolie, toast?". My husband John says, Woolie, no, Woolie bad, but I see him slip Woolie a crust. He loves Woolie. We all do.

I'll get my two children dressed for school, heave their backpacks on the their backs and stand by the door while they throw thin, tanned arms around Woolie's neck and press wet lips onto his tolerant nose. He creaks upright and licks their scabby knees, tail thumping on the wall. Both of them charge through the door, pausing to cup his muzzle in their sticky hands and whisper "Be good". He's always been good. Woolie always listens.

He sits at my feet as I call Dr Roth. Woolie groans at the appropriate places and sighs in impatience. I cry into my tea and curl my toes into his wiry coat. He lies still and wheezes. I feel his slow, heavy, hitching heartbeat thumping through my feet, right up my legs.

The door bell rings. Dr Roth enters and I sign on the dotted line, bowing my head to hide my puffy eyes. He follows me into the yard. I carry Woolie in my arms like an infant. We sit beneath the apple tree and I lie Woolie on the grass. I pat my leg and he slowly crawls up to lay his head on my thigh. I tangle my fingers in his fur and my tears wet his ears. Dr Roth scratches his neck and Woolie thumps his tail. He's always loved Dr Roth.

I don't want to see any of it, so I stare into Woolie's milky eyes and smell the beefy breath that wheezes from his yellow grin. I know when the next breath never comes.

Today was a day like any other day. Every day starts the same without Woolie.

I wake up and swing my feet out of bed. At the foot of my bed is an empty space where his bed was for 15 years. As I get up, I still walk around where his bed would be. I stand at the back door, cold air swirling around my bare legs, squinting into the sun and watching the birds peck at the grass.

I shower. On my side, I'll crouch down, wipe away the fog and press my hand against the glass. The space beyond the smeared glass is empty. I lean my forehead against the glass and taste my tears.

I sit at the table and eat my toast. The kids tap their spoons against their bowls and bite at their bottom lips. My youngest cries into his Krispies. My husband John slips a crust beneath the table. It falls to the floor and nobody says a word.

I'll get my two children dressed for school, heave their backpacks on the their backs and stand by the door while they shift awkwardly on their feet and their eyes dart towards the corner. Both of them walk like pallbearers through the door, pausing to dangle hands emptily in the air. He was always good. Woolie always listened.

I sip my tea and scratch the scab on my thumb. I scrape my toes against the carpet. Why does it still feel warm? I feel my heartbeat thumping through my feet, right up my legs.

He bursts out of the front door like a leaf on the wind, running to the park, sunset in his fur, youthful coltish limbs and white teeth flashing.

When he's tired I race him to the bridge. I can't follow, so I turn for home. I have much to do before tomorrow, but always his eyes say "Are you sure?"

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laneka   

OMG, that is so beautifully sad and brings back a lot of memories of one heart dog, that after nearly 3 years I still miss so badly. Thank you for posting. :cry: :cry: :cry:

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My colleague has just asked me if I'm alright..how can you ever begin to explain a dog's purpose if people don't feel that way. Thank goodness for DOLers, where we understand these sorts of things.

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merikuri   

:cry: :cry:

I read this before going to bed yesterday night..until now I still have swollen eyes!

so touching and so beautifully written :(

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You warned us this would be sad, I should have listened. I've been struggling with Bella's loss so this did not help, but it was so beautiful and familiar I had to read it all. Casper is my old boy who sleeps a lot more now, not like the restless youth he was not so long ago.

It sucks, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.

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that was so very beautiful .. and all who have shared their hearts and home with a dog know the joys of each wonderful day and then that terrible emptiness when they have to leave us... always too soon.

But none of us would forgo that journey.

Thankyou for sharing that tribute

H

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