We have a dining room, the old-fashioned kind with an old brass chandelier set just above a big black farm table.  The table bears the scratches and marks of a piece of furniture well lived.  For me, it’s the room that holds more good memories than any other in the house. 

Every night at dinner time, there at my feet is a big yellow dog.  Often vexed by her tendency to be there in my way, under the chair, I sometimes can’t even pull up to the table.  But because of her age and her place in the family, she has earned the right to be there.  In recent months as she has grown frail, Milo has begun to lie next to her, possibly sensing that her time with us was limited.  On Saturday lying on the same dining room floor, we said goodbye to our beautiful little golden girl.

It was clear to both of us, that she was ready.  Her last days had become more difficult.  Her mobility had deteriorated; she was sleeping a lot; and there were more bad days than good.  We made the decision the week earlier.  Darrow being the beautiful person that he is, made arrangements to have the vet come to our home.   Though I realize now that her loss was as difficult for him as it was for me, he still bravely did the things that I couldn’t. 

It was a peaceful ending for her and that is all I could have wished for.   We got down on the floor next to her where she was napping.  The vet gave her a tranquilizer while Darrow and I sat there with her.  She lifted her head briefly and then went back to sleep and never woke up. 

The companion who was with me for such momentous parts of my life, is gone.  The one who brought Darrow and I together, is gone.  The one who was there when both boys came to live with us, she is gone.  Her beautiful presence though diminished in the last few years, is gone.  As with any loss, our lives are changing.  There is a shift in the pack; the other two dogs have begun to show the signs.  Rocky has become a bit more bossy, while Milo being the sensitive one seems to be a bit lost.  I wonder what we will all do without the only female in the household.

I miss her every day, my sweet golden girl.