As I stare into the empty corner of the room, I feel as though I can't breathe. Cold and flat, the memories assail my senses one at the time. It's an innocent thing; a 12"X24" corner of plain white carpet ... what's missing is a teal blue foam bed. Upon that bed, a piece of my heart slept EVERY night. Tonight will be the first time since living in my house that the corner is empty.
The first memory to hit me like a shocking, cold wave is that moment when he left me. Wide eyes, head up, and a piercing keening wail. Startled, the vet looked right into my eyes and reassured me he didn't feel anything, this was just nerves. As the wail drifted away like the sound of a far off siren, his mouth closed and he was gone. The next wave was of him slinking off his bed, head hanging in shame. Large brown eyes gazed sadly into mine as the scent of his shame filled my nostrils. At that moment, I felt my heart crack.
As reality began to haze over, the waves began to roll in more gently. That moment when my life was changed inexorably as my brand new husband of 2 months proudly deposited the tri-colored ball of fluff into my lap. I was so shocked and surprised, my eyes filled with tears of happiness and I knew great things were to come. Learning how to sit/stay/rollover/play dead/dance/come made the days go by quickly. The fuzzy little fur ball gradually grew into a 50 pound model of perfection. Perfectly fluffed double coat, a unique mohawk that lined his nose, and perky ears that simply flopped over and made him so completely and perfectly MINE. He was my shadow, my protector, and my companion. Together, we made a life and made memories to last a life time.
Playing fetch on the beach, trail blazing an impossible path at Little River Canyon, straining against his harness at full strength, running down the Silver Comet trail while I wobbled behind him on roller blades ... preening under the admiring stares of people on the crowded streets of Helen, awkwardly attempting to swim at Clark's Hill, and sniffing our newborn son while looking at me with a knowing eye. Timbre was a piece of my heart, a spirit that completed the entire soul of my being, an unconditional love that never failed me one time.
As the harsh, ragged sound of his breaths gave way to the gentle sounds his lungs used to make, I was reminded of the Christmas my parents bought their first box of dog treats. Lifelong "cat" people, Timbre was the first "grand dog", and they embraced him with love and compassion. He showed my parents, my in-laws, and my friends the same unconditional love and respect he showed me. Timbre won over anyone that spent a moment with him, he was a very special canine. I believe animals are angels here on earth to protect us, give us unconditional love, and to complete our souls. Sadly, there will be many of them to fill that role; our lifespan is just so much longer than theirs, but they teach us how to open our OWN hearts, and help us to give that same unconditional love in our own lives. Timbre was my first, but he isn't my last. He helped me to think of someone other than myself first, to put his needs before my own.
As I stare into the empty corner of the room, I feel myself begin to breathe again. I would go on this journey again, 100 times over, even knowing how it all ends. Because life is all about the journey, and my journey with Timbre was absolutely one of the BEST things about my life to date. Run in Peace, Timbre. I hope I get to be with you again when God calls me home to be with Him.
Timbre and Kody, best buds
|You fought the good fight, buddy. Love you forever.|