Junior came to live with me when he was around 2 or 3 years old. His teeth were worn down, he was underfed, and he had issues. Issues. Issues. There is more than one post to be written about Junior (The dog. The legend) and his issues.
But not today. Today, I am taking the opportunity to tell you how lucky I am that in this great cosmic mess, Junior and I crossed paths and I got to be his human.
Junior passed away yesterday. His big heart finally failed him.
As V so innocently put it this morning. “Junior is in heaven now with Nannie? Just one dog barks?”.
Yes baby. Just one dog barks now.
I miss my buddy. This house seems so empty without him.
He is an old soul. Junior went through a lot before he came to me. He went through so much that two vets told me to just put him down because he was too “damaged” to fix. And there were times I struggled to be the human he needed.
But he is also a kind, gentle soul. I don’t know anyone who has met Junior that doesn’t like him.
In our twelve years together, he has taught me so much. He was the first thing that my daughter genuinely laughed at. And he quite probably saved me in a brave and wondrous fashion from bodily harm once.
He listens to all my dirty laundry and has absolute discretion. Junior has been there through everything remotely significant in my life including quiet a few bad haircuts. He has been there with those old soul eyes and a quiet grace that saved me on the days my faith in humanity failed. Junior has been my constant.
My buddy had a bad spell last week. We went down and couldn’t get back up. I somehow got him to the car and to the vet. They took 150 cc of blood off of his heart. I know he is old. In my mind I know that fifteen year old, large breed dogs are, as my vet says, “ancient”. I know we are in a losing battle with chronic arthritis. My mind knows. My heart…
He isn’t just a dog. He is my friend. No. He is my family. It threw me for a loop thinking that I might not take the shedding, farting, noisy mess home. Fortunately, I did bring him back home. And there are Junior fur bunnies gracing my floor as I write this. He has eaten a lot of cheeseburgers and oatmeal cream pies since then. His “best friends” have given him lots of hugs.
But Junior’s time is short. And there is nothing I can do about it.
And how lucky I am that he pegged me, of all the people who came through that shelter, as the sucker to turn those eyes on. I still remember those eyes looking up at me.
To Junior, if only you could read…
Thanks for picking me buddy. I may have brought you to my house those many years ago. But you were the first to make it a home. My life is better… I am better…because I spent part of it with you.
Love you June Bug.