Yesterday was my only daughter and oldest child’s birthday, and so always one of the happiest days of every year. Yesterday was also the day our beautiful golden retriever, Micah, bid us an earthly goodbye and so, also, this year a day of sorrow.
Because I am such a ‘dog person’ I can’t let him go without sharing what a great dog he was, how much love he gave to everyone he met, and how blessed we feel we were to have had him for 10 of his 11 years.
He came to us at 14 months because his first human couldn’t keep him due to a sudden health crisis. It about tore him apart to give up Micah – and he’d had him barely a year. For us it feels ten times that hard because he’s been a part of the family so long.
Micah was the sixth golden to make us his family. He arrived as the ‘middle child’ between a four month old golden puppy, Mitch, and the six year old flatcoat, Gunnar. He had been used to being an only dog and was the ‘stud’ of his neighborhood. I was a bit apprehensive about how he would fit in. Gunnar did not suffer annoyance gladly and Mitch bounced on everything and everyone.
Micah took it all in stride. He was properly respectful of Gunnar, let Mitch bounce on him and wrestled and tussled with him for the rest of his life. He became an enchanting ‘middle dog’ who never demanded the rights of the alpha but certainly could have – he was the biggest and strongest of them all.
But Micah was a ‘live and let live’ sort of guy. He charmed everyone who came in the house because a) he didn’t bounce on them and b) he didn’t look suspiciously at them and mostly c) he made everyone feel as if they were the best person to ever walk in this house and he would remember them forever (especially if they gave him a treat or a back scratch or an ear rub).
Micah loved back scratches and ear rubs (and treats, he would remind you. Especially treats). I spent much of the last day scratching his back and rubbing his ears. He would no longer eat treats, though his eyes told me how much he wished that he could. But he got lots of back scratching and ear rubs right to the end.
He had the softest ears in the world. No one could walk past him without wanting to rub his ears.
Now I will think of him running in the meadow, fully able to do all the things he once did – and even I’m’ sure, in his version of heaven, beat Mitch to the tennis balls everyone threw for them. Now I think of him walking for miles without his arthritic knees hurting. Now I think of him shrugging his shoulders in ecstasy over his shoulder rubs, not holding himself tensely together. Now he will be able once more to rejoice in life to the fullest.
Thanks for a wonderful decade, Micah. And thank you all reading this for letting me celebrate the joy of his existence here on the Tote Bags & Blogs space. I wish for all of you the unstinting unconditional love of a dog like Micah.
My youngest son, at age 12, said about our first golden, “He really does improve the quality of life around here, Mom.”
He did. So did Micah.
I will always miss them.