Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Goodbye My Friend

Yesterday, we said goodbye to a very special member of our family: Our beloved Abraham. Abe was a registered AKC Pembroke Welsh Corgi. His papers will tell the story of his lineage, but what they don't tell you is that he was one of the closest earthly friends I have ever known. For nearly ten years, we spent almost every day and night together.

We shared a house,.... food,.... and even the same bed, until he got too old that we worried he'd hurt himself jumping down to the floor.

The photo above is probably my very favorite of him. Because this was how he loved to live life. Here; we were on the top of a mountain together. He traveled with us and often went camping with us. As long as it wasn't too hot, he'd get to go. At home, when he'd hear me open the drawer that we kept his harness in, ... he knew that he was fixin to "GO." When I'd take it out of the drawer he'd get all excited. I'd tell him to ROLL, and he'd fall over to his side so I could put it on. We'd tease him and call it his bra. He also knew that if we shot him with our finger, to fall over and play dead. But: "Do you wanna go," was his favorite sentence and he'd run for the door.

I have no words for this photograph. Just looking at it.... brings tears.
This was Abe a day or two before he died. I could tell by his expression and how hard he was breathing that something wasn't right. The vet told us the last time we were there that he had congestive heart failure. ....I just didn't think he'd be leaving us quite so soon.
I think this picture was New years day. It was his last good day. I can't tell you how emotional I feel looking at him here. Our family was so blessed to have him in our lives.

He used to go to the cemetery with me when I'd take flowers to my Mom's grave. In fact, the whole time I grieved so hard for my Mom... he was always there. He was... so many hugs and kisses.
Abe had a thing for hedgehogs. This one, FancyNancy sent him in the mail. He was good to not tear them up very fast, but when they finally bit the dust, then he'd get to ride to Atwoods to pick out a new one. Our Atwoods farm store, allows you to bring your dog inside as long as it behaves and is on a leash. Abe loved Atwoods. We'd walk to the pet isle, and I'd let him pick out a hedgehog. I'd toss it to him, and he'd carry it all the way to the register. We'd have to take it away for the gal to scan it, and then we'd toss it to him and he'd carry it all the way out to the truck. I'm not kidding. Now that's some hedgehog love.
Sun, rain, sleet, snow,... if I went... he went. He loved to go hiking in the woods and around the pasture. The older he got, and heavier he got... our walks definitely shortened. Not long ago, just going outdoors to go potty would tucker him out.
He loved his baths. If you've noticed in some photos he was shaved, and in others; he had alot of hair. I don't know what his deal was but he had enough coat for two dogs. In fact, bathing him was hard. He was alot like a puddleduck and trying to get his skin "wet" was tough. But he loved baths. He loved getting his back and joints rubbed. He had a vocabulary like you wouldn't believe. Spending all day, every day with a woman who talked to him nonstop taught him alot of words. If I said, "Let's take a bath," he'd run down the hall and make a turn into the bathroom.... (I kid you not.)
If we were outside, and I couldn't see him because he was usually trying to find shade under a bush or something, I'd say, "Where'd Abe go!!!!?"-- and he'd come out, come out, from wherever he was. He loved to hear, "Where'd Abe go!!!?" So we played it when he had a towel on his head too... just for fun. We also played it after I'd get a shower and would throw my towel on him. Or when I'd change the sheets on the bed and throw a pillowcase over his head. Now that was great fun.*
He was my little valentine... and I think I was always his.
He knew how important it was to stop and smell the flowers.
And one of his very faaaavorite games was MOUSE PATROL, inside the potting shed. When the ivy gets thick in there, in summertime you can watch mice swing on ivy vines like Tarzan and Jane. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating but they do run along them and it's so funny to watch. Abe loved it! He never caught one but he pretended like... he just might! If he would have caught one, I doubt he'd have even hurt it. They were like baby chicks to him. From the time we brought him home as a puppy, I'd take him in and let him be around the baby chicks and chickens. He loved them. He acted like he was babysitting. He loved babies in the same way.
He also loved to dance by the light of the moonflowers.

He was my shadow... and I was his.

And this is how I'll always remember him.
... I know some people believe animals go to heaven when they die. And other people don't.
Me... I don't know???
I do know that God knows my heart... and He blessed me so much to bring this friend into my life. I'm grateful. --- Grateful and yet my heart aches so much right now missin him...
I'm still stepping over him when I walk.... and then I realize that..... he's not there.

We buried him out in the yard, up against the barb wire fence that separates our yard from the back pasture. The garden and potting shed are closeby. I decided to find a rock that looked like a gravestone, and just after I'd finished laying it in place a funny thing happened. Out of the blue; Spirit our donkey eawwwwwed this long, loud bray. ~Kinda made me wonder because the day before when I'd prayed, I asked God that if animals can go to heaven, to please let my Angelmother take care of him. Ya see when my Mom lived out here, she claimed our donkeys for her own and spoiled them rotten. Every day she walked to the barb wire fence and hollered for them to come and then she'd feed them apple flavored range cakes and cut up apples. They eeeawed at her all the time.
It seemed kind of odd that at that moment when I patted that stone in place for Abes marker that Spirit brayed like he did. I guess one day we'll have thee answers. I hope we're pleasantly surprised.

Until then... I'll not forget............
My faithful friend.

27 comments:

irene said...

"A faithful friend is a strong defense and he that has found one hath found a treasure." Ecc 6:14.

Laura said...

I am so sorry, Lea. He is beautiful. I spent a little time crying in the dark last night over a doggie too. They just move right into our hearts, don't they?

Hugs,
Laura

Katy~The Country Blossom said...

Oh lea! How my heart is heavy for you! I am so so sorry for your loss. My beloved dog, Ruthie, and I have a very similar relationship that you and Abe had. I can only imagine the heartbreak you are feeling and dread the day when I will feel the same at Ruthie's passing. I loved hearing your stories of Abe and seeing all the pictures. Sending much love and comfort your way, dear friend.xoxo

Kristi said...

Oh, my Lieb, I am so sorry! My heart is aching for you today. Your tribute is absolutey beautiful. I'm praying comfort and joy in the remembering for you today.

Blissitydoodah said...

Oh he was precious!!!
I enjoyed reading about Abe and you together. I wish I could lift your heavy sadness! I have heard people say the best thing is to go right out and get a puppy. Not a replacement...but a diversion for sure!
I'll be praying for you and sending tight cyber hugs!!!!

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

Dear, sweet Lea, you have me crying along with you, what a beautiful post! I know your pain and I hurt for you. I believe in what the donkey was saying to be true, loved it and the photos, Abe was a beauty! You were blessed to know him. Hugs!!

Yolanda said...

Daisy and I are thinking of you and we care.

katie said...

I am so sorry

Gigi said...

I am so sorry for you, and know so much of what you are feeling. Our Skippy died on Dec. 11 so it is fresh for me as well. Your blog today is beautiful and your sweet Abe was blessed to have an owner like you!

Kelly Combs said...

This made me tear up for you & Abe. Honey, I am so sorry. He was so cute (I loved the bath photo), and I know he will be missed so much.

There is nothing like the love and companionship of a pet. May God nurture you as you mourn Abe's loss.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Lea, I am sobbing for you. This is so beautifully written for your little friend! What a precious little buddy he was. I shudder to think of the day when my beloved Raven girl passes. She has been my side kick for 13 years this July. These little pups love us no matter what and are always there with unconditional love. I pray in my heart that our furry friends go to Heaven..... I think they do. I bet right now your Momma is lovin on Abe and petting his little head. I love you and know I am thinking of you. Janie

Tracy said...

Oh sweet Lea! My heart hurts for you. Abe was so precious and the photos show just what a special friendship you shared. What a sweet and loving tribute. I'm sending love & prayers your way, sweet one.

Love,
Tracy

ATTIC CLUTTER said...

He was so cute~!
I'm happy you have those wonderful pictures of him and the good memories..I am sorry Lea he is gone..lov'ya(:) patty

littlethings1 said...

I am so sorry for your loss , he looks like he was just so adorable & I know you will miss him.All of the photo's that you posted were just so sweet. Pets do that to us don't they , crawl into our hearts !
A big hug !
Eunice
The Little Things

Anonymous said...

Oh...dear Lea..my heart is SO sad to hear the news of your beloved Abe! They just walk right in and leave pawprints all over our heart dont they? Loved the stories & the pictures! I could tell the two of you had a very, very special bond! I know you will miss him dearly! Thinking of you this day dear friend!

HUGE HUGS,
Char

Debi said...

Dearest Lea, I am so sorry to hear of your lost friend! I know mine means alot to me too. My thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of loss, may God heal the ache, and love help you too. Know I am thinking of you dear.
Debi xo

Dawn Dutton said...

Lea, I am so sorry about Abe, You are not alone when you cherish your animals as much as you do. God is so good to give them to us to love and play with. I am deeply sorry for your loss. He was a very special friend to you and you did a great job loving him... The photos tell me that he was loved and well taken care of.. What could any pet what more than that! Hugs and blessings, Dawn

From the Heart said...

My dear sweet friend I am so sorry about Abe. I know you mentioned the other day that he wasn't doing well. I know how you feel. I think I told you we had a poddle when the girls were younger and we all cried. My husband couldn't even bury him. He had a friend to do it.

A beautiful tribute to Abe. He looks like a very loving dog. They really think they are human I believe.

I don't know if animals go to Heaven or not but God made all the creatures on earth. Read Genesis
1.

My prayers are for you and your family.
Love you,
AliceE.

ATTIC CLUTTER said...

AWE ABE..(:(
WELL yes the pie is wonderful try one..the freezer section in the stores up here- maybe you don't have them down south(:) ??
Glad you like the fun brooms Lea..ME TOO ~!!Ross stores~
big hugs, Patty

Beautiful pear tree lane said...

My heart just aches for you Lea, about a year ago we lost our dear Lab, Buck, he had been our companion for 13 yrs. and I know just how you are feeling at losing Abe.What beautiful memories you have of him.
I don't know if our animals go to heaven or not, but God certainly knows our loss, and heartache. My prayers are with you.
Hugs, Sue

Denise said...

You just made me cry.. I so love my little Moses...... He is 10 now and each morning when I call his name I hold my breath until he hollers.. I cry just thinking about him being gone.. I have a wooden crayon box that my husband had a child put up high in the utility room. One day Dennis asked me what I was hanging on to that wooden box.. I just cried.. It is very very heavy and thick and has a very heavy lid. I will bury my sweet Moses in that one day.. Silly isn't it.. I think that the Father God created beauty in everything and I think that for sure we will have that beauty to surround us when we cross over into our eternity.. What a simple task it is for the Lord to take your sweet Abe home to sit by the gate and watch for you.... I sure he is.......

Barbara Jean said...

Lea,
What a wonderful tribute about Abe.

I love knowing him better, and am so sad for your loss of a good friend.

I know this will be hard for a long time, but we are all with you as you ache and mourn his loss.

And of course God is with you most of all, every minute of every day.

blessings and hugs

barbara jean

Sharon said...

Lea I am so sorry for your loss, how your story and pictures touched my heart you cannot imagine! I have had to do the same, so I know where your heart is, Such a beautiful tribute! Know that I am praying for you, that you will be comforted.
Huggggs are coming your way

Sweet Magnolias Farm said...

Oh Lea ..I'm so sorry about abraham ..they really do take hold of our hearts and make their home there.

cherish the memories and the pictures and the days and years God blessed your life with such a special creature of his. We are the caretakers of these precious beings and Abraham was your sweet little gift from heaven.

May Gods Grace be upon you ...and may your heart be lightened by Gods sweet touch of Love.

Your Kindred Sister ..Sara

Anonymous said...

Leaon... My heart breaks and the tears keep streaming down my face. I know how a pet can become your best friend, and words cannot express the hurt that I feel. Please know that I love you and I BELIEVE that Abe is in a better place that we call heaven. He is running through pastures full of flowers, chasing butterflies and totally content! And all our family members that we have lost are close by, smiling at his innocent happiness! All my love - Jacki

godsown said...

So sorry to hear about your loss of "Abe"
I so enjoyed to read about the friendship between you both and the pictures...what great memory!

Sending my love and blessings to you
Bernice

sonia a. mascaro said...

I just know Abe and I just love him! He looks adorable! I am so sorry for your loss... I have no words... this post brings tears on my eyes....

I have a lovely friend too, named Flora, and she is 11 years now. Like Abe did, when she sees her harness she feels so happy!!!
If you have the time to "meet" Flora, please, just click on Label "Flora" on the Subject, almost on the botton of the page.

Have a nice day!
Regards, from Sonia, São Paulo, Brazil.