July 14 2011 Republished by request
Yesterday our big family lost Hearsay, one of the three Golden Gang, who live with Beth and Shawn and loved by all. For no rhyme or reason, far too soon, and without notice she was gone. What started out as a routine surgery on her knee ended in seconds as she suffered a cardiac arrest. Saying chances of 1 in 4000 sounds like a lot until you are the ‘one’ they are talking about.
I know you are not allowed to have favorites with grand-dogs but Hearsay had a way of tugging on my heart strings. She was absolutely and 100% unrepentant in everything she did from dragging you to the ground by grabbing your shirt and pulling, to hiding your shoes, stealing napkins from your lap, and taking food from the table. No matter how many times you screamed, yelled or stomped your feet she just gave you that goofy grin with her hair poking every which way and wagging her tail. If she thought you were really mad she would run, get a ball and stand in front of you going ‘woo-woo-woo-woo” as if to say, life is too short, just learn to play more.
Before there was a Shawn, Beth got Hearsay. We both went together to pick out a puppy. While all the other puppies were wiggling and playing with each other, Hearsay ran up to Beth and pulled on her trouser pants. That should have been a warning but it was more of a look at me – I am the ONE! I think from the first moment I held her in the car, I knew Hearsay was special. I also think that was the time she chewed on my new t-shirt and put a hole in it.
Every time we lose someone we say how beautiful, perfect and or the best they were. Hearsay was special because she simply didn’t do what all good dogs do. She not only didn’t listen she thought her role in life was to misbehave no matter what dire warnings you could give. And yet for all the mischief she brought into our lives she brought laughter. I can’t think of one time we didn’t have a family gathering that we all didn’t sit around and watch what no-no thing she would do next.
Hearsay thought Christmas was created so you could tear up all the Christmas presents. No one in our family ever had a meal with a napkin on their lap if Hearsay was present. She never met a stranger and in fact if given a chance she would invite them in. She loved her balls and as soon as you hit the door she wanted to go play (that darn woo-woo again) and would do it for hours if you would let her. This year she would be found with her head in the tomatoes eating them (whoever heard of dogs loving tomatoes in the summer).
As Piper came in to Hearsay’s life a year after she was adopted, Piper became the Princess but you could say Hearsay was the pea in Piper’s life. Just enough irritating to be loved but the two learned to play together and share their Mom. Hearsay was the reason Shawn met Beth. He saw Hearsay’s photo and having a golden of his own it was kismet. And as Shawn came into the mix we were so surprised to see her become a Daddy’s girl. Perhaps it was because she had mostly females in her life but I think it is because she recognized what a big heart he had. Shawn brought with him Buckeye and the Golden Gang was born both online and within the family.
Hearsay had such loving grand-parents. There was me and Dave and then Glen & Sue. There was Grand-pa Jerry. We would shake our heads as she misbehaved and then laugh and encourage it more. Perhaps we felt it was pay-back to Shawn and Beth of the antics they pulled growing up. All our hearts are broken as well.
We can’t say what Buckeye and Piper must be thinking as these events unfold. Certainly our upset causes them upset. I think they know and but I don’t think they wonder too much about what’s next because they know what lies ahead for dogs.
There is a huge divide out there whether dogs have an external soul and whether there is a heaven or hell for dogs as well. It is written that if you can love, dream and feel then certainly you have a soul. I do not believe the God I know would have created such animals who love so unconditionally without bring them along into the next life we will enter. A hereafter life with dogs would truly be heaven.
We have seen Hearsay dream of chasing balls as she sleeps and her legs run rapidly. We have seen her whimper with a smile as certainly she must be thinking of the way she made us laugh. Of course, Hearsay dreamed. She dreamed with the happiness of a dog who never stopped being the incorrigible puppy and yet knew she had so much love in her life.
And love, well she loved us all. Hearsay had the knack of making you think she loved you best but then Hearsay didn’t know how to do otherwise. She was Mommy’s first, and Dad’s best. She was the reason grand-parents fought to babysit. She showed love every single day of her life.
Whatever vision you have of the hereafter, it has to include Hearsay. I think of her now with Angels yelling drop it Hearsay or clean up on cloud 3. I even imagine with a smile thinking of her tugging on the robes of God to pull him down for a puppy lick on his cheek. She will be the most misbehaved dog in Heaven. But those in heaven will know that Hearsay has arrived. And there will be lots more love than before.
And on any one day if I get a bit mischievous or want to play a practical joke my hunch is that Hearsay has become my guardian dog angel and is doing a bit of encouragement to make life just a bit more fun and a lot more livable until we meet again.