Jamie celebrates what would have been her departed dog, Levi’s 13th birthday, by writing a very sentimental letter. I’m sure all of us who have loved and lost a pooch so dear can relate to this. Dogs are truly are the beating heart of our families, remembering our dogs often helps keep the memory alive.
A letter to my Levi.
I remember the day I met you like it was yesterday. Me and dad we’re walking along the cold, dark corridor of the kennels. Pretty much every dog we walked past would bark loudly, demanding our attention. Some growled some sat quietly in the corner shaking, not knowing what was in store for them.
Then we got to your kennel, we could have easily missed you if you weren’t such a giant fluff ball. There you were, sat comfortably at the kennel door, looking around to see what all the fuss was about. The kennel girl opened the door but you didn’t budge, you were looking at me & dad. I think you were trying to figure us out, as we were you.
Not wanting to overwhelm you, I sat down opposite you, you looked at the girl you were familiar with, then back at me. You slowly wandered over to me, with that little waddle of yours. I let you sniff me whilst I whispered in your ear ‘I’m feeling a bit lost to dude, shall we figure this out together?’ With that, your expression changed, you moved closer. You put your nose to mine and proceeded to wash my face with your slobbery tongue, whilst trying to fit your 50kg backside onto my lap.
Right then & there I knew there was no way I would be leaving that place without you.
I think I saw in you what I felt in myself.
Hurt by the one person I trusted the most and I could see it in your eyes that you knew exactly how that felt. I never wanted a rescue. I didn’t want an older dog that needed fixing, I wanted a puppy who I could train from day one. But dad being dad insisted that I keep my options open. He thought it was silly for a twenty-year-old to want to spend hundreds of pounds on a dog. I always say it was fate that he came across you on a google search, you’d only been in rescue a few days. To think I only went that day just to keep dad happy, and to prove him wrong. The only person who was going to be proven wrong, was me.
During your years with me you went from being my adventure dog, off we’d go in my tiny Daewoo Matiz, the only way I could squeeze you in the back was by opening a window! We’d walk miles, just me & you.
It was pretty much me & you against the world.
A few years go by, I was scared of how you’d take on our new chapter, I didn’t know much about your early years & having a large dog with babies is always risky. I made sure to give you time to adjust, but Little did I know how naturally you’d take to it all. The minute I set up the Moses basket in the living room, you placed yourself under it. It’s as if you knew what your new role was meant to be before any of us.
From the day we brought a tiny Evan home from the hospital, you accepted him into your pack as if he’d always been there. I like to think that you knew he was a part of me. You took on the role of family dog as if it was your second nature. You didn’t mind that our adventures weren’t as frequent, you’d happily lay at my feet, keeping eye on your new tiny human.
A few more years go by & our family grew larger. You aren’t so sure about this tiny human, he’s more boisterous than Evan & he pulls your tail & chases you around the house wanting a ‘uddle’. But still, you were gentle & patient. I could never get over how easily you adjusted. We grew together, & we changed together.
I moved, you moved.
I’ve never understood the saying ‘just a dog’, how does that even make any sense. Clearly the people who use that expression have never had the love of a dog.
You were never just a dog to me. Of course, there’ll be other dogs, I can’t not have a dog in my life. I’ll even love another dog, but they won’t be you.
You fixed the pieces of me that were broken, & those pieces will never be replaced. They are yours, always.
A year on and not a day goes by where I don’t think of you,
Your golden eyes & giant paws, they are glued into my memory. I was one of the lucky ones, I got to watch you grow old, 11 years of treasured memories that can never be tainted, forgotten or replaced.
It doesn’t hurt as much now, I only smile when I think of you. Our days on the beach & how you’d dig in the sand as your life depended on it. The truth is, I might have rescued you that day from the kennels, but you saved me old bear, for that, I will forever be grateful.
You are my heart dog, always.