Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Loyal Family Pet Is Never Forgotten

Every single year, I plant scores of impatiens along our front side sidewalk. They're the only flowers that bloom really well, all summer long, in our yard. Our home is surrounded by dozens of towering trees, which create a blanket of shade, so we simply cannot have flowers that require any amount of sunshine. I'm actually completely fine with it, because impatiens are quite lovely and have a special meaning to me.

Impatiens are the flowers that lined my parents' sidewalk on my wedding day, and they are the flowers that lined our sidewalk in the home we owned when our first three babies were born. I'm glad we have a shaded yard where they flourish. They bring a smile to my face every time I look out my window or pull into my driveway. Plus, I have what people call a black thumb, and these hardy beauties practically take care of themselves.

The impatiens I choose each year are always varying shades of pinks and purples. Our four kids often help me plant them, but this year, since my foot was broken, Mark did all the work. They linger into September for us, and that means they are always providing a beautiful background for our first day of school photos.

For almost twelve years, we had a dear golden retriever named Abby. I loved posing her in front of our impatiens, with her light yellow fur popping against the vibrant hues of our favorite flowers. Abby was such a special part of our family for so long, as I know anyone with a pet understands. She was in our lives before any of our babies were born, and Mark trained her on his own before we were married. She lovingly welcomed each new addition into our home and guarded over our babies them like a mama. She laid next to my rocker while I nursed them, slept at the feet of their beds, and nuzzled against them while they played on the floor. She was a world traveler, living with us in Japan for our two year expatriate stay. She guarded our home during Mark's many business trips and welcomed him home like the loyal girl that she was. She was silky soft and therapeutic and just a blessing to everyone who knew her. She lived a great, long life. Abby was a happy dog with a fun family who really, really loved her.

This week, it will have been three years since our Abby-girl passed away. We all still talk often about Abby and her antics. Just the other day, we were laughing at the time she caught her paw in a glue trap...while a live mouse was still attached to it.

On the day that we lost her, we posed her in front of our impatiens one final time.
This September, every time I look at my still-blossoming impatiens, I find myself thinking of our sweet Abby. I long for the days when she was lying on our sidewalk, her fluffy, golden hair blowing in the wind, waiting for her babies to come home to play.   
I'm seeing a lot of friends who are losing their pets this year. We seem to be at that age now when we've been married for as long as a first dog or cat will live. Our children are suffering the loss of their beloved furry family members. I wish anyone peace who has to come through this sad time with your children.
Will you tell me about your family pets and what they mean to you?

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