Almost one month ago, I posted a tribute to Skipper, our beloved Sheltie who died four months shy of his 14th birthday. A day later, one of my dearest friends from my college days sent me this:
One last word of farewell, Dear Master and Mistress. Whenever you visit my grave, say to yourselves with regret but also with happiness in your hearts at the remembrance of my long happy life with you: “Here lies one who loved us and whom we loved.” No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you, and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail.
I found that this message was part of a longer work. When the family dog, Blemie, was near death from old age, Eugene O’Neill wrote The Last Will and Testament of An Extremely Distinguished Dog to console his wife, Carlotta. The words are written as if they are coming from Blemie.
The segment my friend sent to me serves to remind us of the memories of unconditional love our pets give to us. It was, however, another paragraph in this essay which spoke to how we should move into the future…
One last request I earnestly make. I have heard my Mistress say, “When Blemie dies we must never have another dog. I love him so much I could never love another one.” Now I would ask her, for love of me, to have another. It would be a poor tribute to my memory never to have a dog again. What I would like to feel is that, having once had me in the family, now she cannot live without a dog!
It is with that spirit that we felt the best way to honor Skipper was to provide a home for another homeless Sheltie, as we had done for Skipper years ago.
Davonia contacted rescue organizations and looked at pictures of almost 1,500 Shelties from around the country in need of homes. Out of all of them, one particular little dog caught her eye, one called “Cabrio.” We don’t know a great deal about Cabrio’s background. He was picked up as a stray and rescued from animal control by the Bright Hope Animal Rescue located in northeast Tennessee. It was there he acquired his name and where he would spend the next couple of months awaiting someone to choose him and give him a “forever home.” He has that home now.
Cabrio is estimated to be about 3 years old. He was shaved when taken in by the rescue due to the condition of his coat, so we are looking forward to watching his full coat come in over the next year.
I heard it said once that the worst things are never the last things. As much as we know in our heads that pets’ lives are temporary, it is difficult for our hearts to accept it. Having another furry friend to teach and love, as we had done with Skipper, and with Lassie before him, and as we are doing with our other Sheltie Bonnie Lass, is one more reason to look to the future as a friend.