Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Still Grieving For A Friend

A few months ago, my long time canine pal Pollo had to be euthanized. He was a fourteen year old Golden Retriever that had been a faithful companion to everyone not only living in the household, but friend to anyone who entered the door. I am extremely grateful for the years that I got to spend with him and his unconditional commitment. I definitely appreciate the length of time that I had with Pollo, quite uncommon for Goldens, especially one that came from a puppy mill.

Memories of Pollo still exist all over our house and beyond. There is still his cage that he slept in. Every night he willingly went into the cage because the closeness of the sides of the cage helped him feel safe and snug. His feed bowl and water bowl are still in the corner of the kitchen. His food bin and toy bin are still full. Last week I noticed his rope chew toy behind a piece of furniture, and I was not able to remove it.

I have pictures of Pollo to remind me of his healthier days. And recent snow storms with massive snowfall totals quickly reminded me of all the winter memories of him enjoying the snow. I used to love how I could let him outside with an approaching snowstorm, and he would look up in the sky, and start smelling it, snow. When he would come back into the house, he would stay by the back door, to make sure he was ready for when the first snow flake would fall. You see, Pollo suffered from what I called “snow deafness”. Once outside with snow falling or on the ground, he would not even hear a dog whistle.

He loved to roll in the snow, run through the snow, and would even route through the snow like a pig. And playing fetch with snowballs, pure comedy as he would look all over for where the snowballs ended up. He enjoyed having snow shoveled on him, as long as it was the powder variety. Yes, I have so many memories of Pollo, and they are still fresh in my mind.

Prior to his passing, my daughters often talked of wanting another dog. Madison would actually give me the speech that “when Pollo dies we will need another puppy.” As any dog owner will agree, it takes a long time to grieve even for a beloved pet. Which is why I took the stance with my daughter, no more pets for awhile. Not only for our grieving needs, but it would not be fair to a new animal brought into the house while we were still grieving Pollo. Of course, it is a bit more complicated right now, because I am in the middle of a divorce.

Pollo, I miss you so much. This has been an ultimate winter that you truly would have enjoyed. How I wish to have to blow dry the iceballs frozen to your fur and then spend an hour blowdrying your fur. I used to enjoy the snow.

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