We lost a beloved family member quite suddenly recently, our Yellow Labrador, Princeton a/k/a Prince a/k/a Princey. Prince lived up to his name – he was in all things princely. We rescued him as a four-year-old and one of my first thoughts was, “What a lovely name he has.” I later learned that he was named after the county in Texas where he was rescued but whatever, it fit him. He was used to breed therapy dogs and apparently had a “wife” back then and their job together was to breed. Unfortunately, the breeder did not take great care of his dogs. When we got Princeton, he was very thin and had heartworms, and was in need of immediate care to save his life. We got him through that time, thankfully, and he settled right in with us. When I saw his picture on the page of the lab rescue, the thing that got me was that he seemed to be smiling. He was smiling! And he smiled every day that he was part of our family. We were so lucky to have him and we all loved him, including Charlie, our little cockapoo who never left his side. The house seems quite empty without him now. Charlie sticks close to me these days. I like to think that we are there for each other.
A good friend of mine sent this to me after learning about Princeton and I wanted to pass it on here for anyone who loves their own family of dogs, kitties or whatever you choose. It rang true for me. I could never measure the love and joy that Princeton brought to us. I will always miss you, my friend.
“There is a cycle of love and death that shapes the lives of those who choose to travel in the company of animals. It is a cycle unlike any other. To those who have never lived through its turnings and walked its rocky path, our willingness to give our hearts with full knowledge that they will be broken seems incomprehensible. Only we know how small a price we pay for what we receive; our grief, no matter how powerful it may be, is an insufficient measure of the joy we have been given.” ― Suzanne Clothier, Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs