(When I came home from elementary, my father introduced me to my dog Ellie. She was from a shelter, the shelter did not know how old she was. They found her and she was already grown.)
Saturday, August 27, 2016, was a day of unbearable heartache for me. I had to make the difficult decision to have my beloved dog Ellie put to sleep. Ellie was a 19-year-old beautiful black-and-white Cocker Spaniel mix that I had had since I was a young boy. Maybe she should have gone a long time ago – she was practically blind and deaf, could barely walk, and seemed to be in a lot of pain toward the end. However, I could not bear the thought of letting her go without a fight, so I fought valiantly to relieve her pain and help her regain her health. Finally I realized that she was waiting for me to release her.
As I was mourning Ellie’s passing, I remembered a dream I had had a long time ago after the loss of my first dog Cassy. In the dream, I woke up on beautiful green-colored grass that sparkled with silver highlights. As I stood up, I saw trees all around with pink-red leaves and a blue sky with shining stars overhead. I saw someone standing on top of a little hill. I did not call out, but walked forward. As I reached the top, I stood next to the person. Although I turned my head toward them, I don’t remember what they looked like. The person pointed out to the horizon where I saw a tall tree with a circle pond around it. Cassy, Pooh Bear and Ellie were there. And with animals I had encountered throughout my life were there along with some animals I did not know. People were joyfully playing with all the pets. I walked down and joined the group. Although I did not know the people, some somehow looked like me.
Except for one. She was beautiful – not like a star but like a universe full of stars. The people did not say a word, but all greeted me with a smile. As I sat on the ground surrounded by my beloved pets, I said, “Hello my old friends. It's been a long time since last we met.”. When I woke up in my room on my bed, I was not sad or scared but in silent awe of what I had seen and how it seemed so real, like living another life. I have only told a few people of my dream, but to this day, I have held that dream in my heart. Ellie, your bark was louder than thunder. Your love and loyalty were unmatched. It was hard to say goodbye on Earth, but I know we will meet again. May you have no more pain, but live like you have never lived like before…
She may be out of sight, but never out my thoughts.