Farley Is Whole Again
I try to find a way to get over the grief, but it hurts too much. Writing about you helps, and although it makes me cry, it's ok because you're worth every tear.
I remember your barking, your wagging tail, and your moans of hunger as you waited for me to give you a piece of my dinner.
Farley, you were my little boy, my best little buddy, a Shih Tzu who was born on December 7, 1997. You lived 16-1/2 glorious years until you left this world in my arms on June 27, 2014.
For 11 years I cared for you like no other creature on this earth. The first 5 years of your life you were my sister and brother-in-law's dog.
I remember going to their house and being amazed at how much you enjoyed people and life. You would bark with happiness when I came over and bark with sorrow when I left, and I was just a stranger at the time.
You amazed me with your love for every human soul whether they were strangers or well known family members. When friends from out of town visited my house for the first time, you slept downstairs with one of them on the couch. That's who you were. You were a loving creature, and I believe you thought you were just as human as me.
I adopted you from my sis and bro-in-law when you were around 5 or 6, when they started having kids. I brought you down to your new home in Kentucky for a few years where I quickly became attached to you.
Then I moved back to the Cleveland area in late 2005 and we were inseparable ever since. You were there for me through sickness, health, divorce and other times of my life, both happy and sad.
No matter what was going on in my life, I could count on you to get me through it, being there when I got home, sleeping next to me every night, and listening to me talk to you as you tilted your head to the side.
Farley, you were my life for so long. But at the same time, it wasn't long enough. When you started going blind and deaf I knew someday soon you would have to leave. But I didn't think it would be so fast. I wanted to hold on as I held you up so you could drink from your bowl but I knew the end was near.
I spent one last night with you and although you didn't eat all that day, you let out one last bark for food at dinner and I fed you people food for the last time.
That last bark touched my soul with both happiness and intense grief. We lay in bed that night and I wished the whole time that we could just lay there watching TV forever. But morning came and it was time to let go.
Before going to the vet I sat you in the backyard grass, which was your favorite thing to do in the summer months. We sat there in the sun and wind and we just hung out.
At one moment I looked into your eyes for a good five seconds straight and we both knew it was time. It was like you were telling me, "Daddy, I love you, but I'm tired and I just want to go to sleep."
I washed you off and wrapped you up in one of my favorite bath towels and placed you gently in the car. I pet you on the head and stomach the whole ride to the vet. I picked you up, took you inside, and held you firmly against my heart so you wouldn't get scared.
I held and kissed your head as the nurses helped hold you, then I looked into your eyes and said "Goodbye baby boy, I love you. I'm sorry. I love you so much."
I cried very hard as you closed your eyes and drifted off to sleep. I held you for a few more tearfully painful moments and said goodbye again with a kiss on your head. I lost a part of my soul at that moment; you took it with you to save until we meet again someday.
Farley, you took a piece of me with you when you left that day. Our house is not the same without you. Coming back from work and not seeing you there every day has left a hole in my heart that I can't fill right now.
But you also taught me how to love and how to be loved unconditionally. You changed me and made me a better person over the years. Your companionship enriched my life. Maybe someday I can repay that love you showed me with a new puppy that needs a home.
You were much more than just a dog, you were my baby boy. I cherish the time I had with you. I will miss you dearly every day of the rest of my life.
So until we meet again, run, baby boy, eat, baby boy, see that squirrel, baby boy, and hear that other dog barking, baby boy, because you are whole again.
Farley, my baby boy
1997 – 2014