Yesterday Tom found our 14 year old schnauzer Hank dead. I use that blunt word because it was an unexpected and cutting experience. It wasn’t peaceful, we couldn’t give him one last cuddle or shower him with his favorite treats on his last day. Something sudden and drastic happened, something that we will never know for sure-yes, he was old yes, he had cancer so time was growing short, but we hoped for one last summer together. Instead he left us suddenly and without a sound. That silence was shocking.
Hank was a stoic and steady force in our home. He was Tom’s dog, always following his scooter in the hopes that Tom would drop or pass him some tasty morsels. They were breakfast mates often before anyone else had stirred.
Animal lovers automatically understand the grief associated with losing a pet, it is like losing a part of the family. Hank, like all our other pets has seen Tom and I at our best and our worst without passing any judgement. He was a witness to our lives, a source of laughter on countless occasions-especially when he was mischievous. He was not a dog that craved affection, he put up with me petting him because it comforted me. He accepted us just as we were. Our disabilities, wheelchairs or scooters didn’t matter to him. Honestly even the most enlightened human beings are not capable of the unconditional love that Hank and our other dogs give us effortlessly.
Hank, thank you for serving as a groomsman in our wedding; thank you for tolerating my occasional frustrated outbursts; thank you for reminding me to enjoy the simple things-a good meal and a warm bed; thank you for your example of perseverance without complaint. Thank you for Being. Tom and I miss you Buddy!