It's only been a few days, and we can't believe the magnitude of our grief. We make efforts to do "normal" things, but our pain keeps surfacing. We miss our beloved Whidbey so much it actually hurts.
Friday was endless as we waited for our vet to come to the house so Whidbey could find peace. What we really wanted was for time to go backwards to the years that Whidbey was happy and healthy. At one time during the day, I was led to the computer to write a letter of introduction for Whidbey to take with him. I am posting the letter here:
June 20, 2008
Hello. My name is Whidbey and I’m a Yellow Labrador Retriever. I have a fancy name also (Captain’s Whidbey), but I’ve been known as Whidbey, Buddy, Goofy, Wibber, Wid, and other cute and sweet names. I answer to all of them – or none of them – depending on my mood.
I was born on January 21, 1997, and died today. It was peaceful. I just went to sleep with my Mommy and Daddy with me. My nice doctor came to our house, which is where I love to be. I have a nice house and have always had nice places to live. In this house, I have a fenced in yard, where I loved to run and play. Sometimes neighbors came to play with me. I love kids and, even though Mommy and Daddy don’t have any little kids, there were always bunches for me to play with. When we lived in Connecticut, I played with Lauren and Stephen all the time. Stephen used to say that I was everybody’s dog. I have so much love in me that it was okay that I was shared. Here in Ocala, I played with Scott and Josh. I have a special friend. Her name is Taylor. Taylor and her brother Zack loved to come over and play with me. Taylor used to take care of me and hanging out with her was one of my very favorite things. I like to play with other dogs also. I had a best friend. His name is Mickey. Mickey used to live next door and we’d do our “dog thing” by running back and forth along the fence. Mickey moved a few weeks ago. I miss him. I also played with Semi when she came to visit…Lexi and Hunter, too. Lexi drove me crazy because she was little and could go places I couldn’t get to (like under beds), but I loved her anyway. She and Hunter are my cousins. I have another cousin. His name is Bixby. I’ve never met him, because he’s new to the family, but I know I would have loved him.
I’m only 11 years old and really wanted to stay with my Mommy and Daddy for a much longer time, but I got sick last year and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Mommy, Daddy, Dr. Jason, and other doctors tried to fix me, but it’s one of those things that can’t be fixed. I’ve never been in pain, so every day I’ve had has been a good day. Mommy and Daddy really spoiled me. Mommy and Daddy would cook for me, so I’ve had all my favorites: eggs (I call them eggies), steak, hamburger, grilled cheese sandwiches, and Frosty Paws.
Actually…Mommy and Daddy have always spoiled me. I’ve been a very lucky dog!!! I have a toy box full of toys and always get new stuff. When Mommy and Daddy went away, I got to stay at really nice hotels where people would play with me. One of my hotels even had a swimming pool. We’ve had 2 swimming pools at our houses also. Since I’m a Lab, I like to swim. I liked my first pool best. I used to get on Mommy’s raft and just float around. Then I used to lie in a comfy chair and dry off in the sun. Mommy and Daddy let me go swimming, but sometimes I snuck into the pool. They never got mad at me. I’ve been to the ocean too. I even once went into a VERY cold stream. My fur protected me, so it was fun.
I think I’m pretty smart. I can spell lots of words. People never believed Mommy and Daddy when they told them, but I proved it all the time. I really love people and always make eye contact when people talk to me. I do this thing with my head where I tilt it and turn it to prove I understand. Mommy calls it my “exorcist thing.” I think that was a famous movie or something.
Anyway…I’m a really nice dog. I love people and have never done anything to hurt anyone. I have been well-loved. I hope that someday Mommy and Daddy get another puppy to love. I won’t be jealous, but I’ll watch over the situation and make sure that puppy is good to my Mommy and Daddy.
I’m saying good-bye to a lot of people that I love and who love me: Mommy and Daddy (of course), Jason, Ari, Rachel, Grandma, Grandpa, Phil, Melanie, Aunt Sharon, Uncle Ron, Dawn. I can’t even name everyone who will miss me. What a lucky dog I am!!!
I’m going to see Nicki, Una, Max, Maisie, Gidget…lot’s of other well-loved dogs. I’ll be able to run again without my hips hurting me. That’s a good thing.
I have a special message for my Mommy and Daddy. I’ll miss you and always be your “puppy.” I know you have lots of pictures of me since I’m a real ham and loved to have my picture taken. I know you’ll cry for a while, but the hurt will go away. I love both of you so much, but it’s time for me to be somewhere else. You’ll be in my puppy heart forever and I know that I’ll be in yours.
I love you both.