Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Five years ago, Brad and I sat the kids down at the kitchen table and asked them to help us make a very important decision:

Should we get a second dog, or have another baby?

We voted, and decided to get a puppy.

A few weeks later, Windsor joined our family (two weeks later, I found out I was pregnant with Lizzy, but that's a story for another day).

Lexi and Windsor - July 2006

Lexi, Jake and Windsor - July 2006

Brad and baby Windsor - July 2006
Windsor was the cutest, sweetest, fattest puppy ever. We loved him immediately. Bob, on the other hand, wasn't so sure about sharing his kennel, and his family. Eventually, Uncle Bob accepted (or at least tolerated) his nephew, Windsor.

Windsor never mastered the art of pheasant hunting like hs uncle, much to Brad's disappointment.  But, we loved him anyway, overbite and all. Unfortunately, city life wasn't for Windsor. He barked a lot. He dug holes in the yard. We yelled a lot. This was not the life we wanted for our sweet puppy.
John and Windsor - August 2011
About  year ago, we sent him to the farm. It was supposed to be a temporary arrangement. We planned to take him back once our lives settled down and once he settled down a little. But, Windsor quickly won the hearts of my dad and brother. While they often joked about bringing him home, we knew Windsor would never come home. He loved the farm. He was a different, calmer, happier dog there.

The kids talked about him a lot. Lizzy often mentioned how much she missed Windsor.

Little did we know when we last visited the farm in August, we'd never see him again.
Duke and Windsor - the royal dogs of the Shea farm

Windsor died today.

I knew as soon as I heard my dad's voice on the phone.

Dad called to tell us that Windsor got run over this afternoon. Dad carried him to the shop, to inspect his wounds and make him comfortable. Windsor was having a hard time breathing, but his tail never stopped wagging. Even in pain, he was a happy dog.

John got to say goodbye to him, and for that I am grateful. I only wish my kids could have hugged him one last time, and I could have yelled at him to be quiet one final time. I feel terrible that my dad had to deal with all of this. But, I am so glad Windsor got to spend the past year at the farm. It was the best year of his life.

Between the tears and the sadness, Lexi, Jake and I talked about how happy we were for Windsor. He died while running at the farm - his very favorite thing to do.

He may have also helped Lexi through a very difficult time. She and her best friend have been having a tough couple of weeks, and haven't talked for a long time. It's been really hard on Lexi, but when she heard the news about Windsor, her first instinct was to text her best friend. They texted back and forth a bit, and her BFF told her "I'm here if you need to talk". Lexi said that text brought tears to her eyes because the BFF fight is now over.

Saying goodbye to a pet is never easy, but for Lexi, saying goodbye to Windsor helped her get her best friend back. And that's proof that dogs really are a man's (and a 12 year old girl's) best friend.
John and Windsor
Windsor the farm dog
Jake, Lizzy, John and Windsor

1 comment:

Auntie Lisa said...

I am so sorry for the loss of Windsor. My heart aches for you all and know our prayers are with you. I'll tell the girls tomorrow. love you so very much.