How do you write a eulogy for a dog?

Last week we lost our beloved Lizzie, who has been with us since she was six weeks old. She was 15 years, 8 months and 2 days old when she went to sleep for the last time.

I don’t think she wanted to go, but she knew her time had come to say good-bye and move on to what was waiting for her.

Lizzie was one puppy in a litter belonging to a rescued dog. When we were first offered the puppy, we were told she was a Cocker Spaniel. It didn’t take very long to realize that there were a few other breeds in her heritage, too.

The night we went to get Lizzie, for me, it was love at first sight. Rex was drawn to her sister, Lucy. Both came home with us that night. Very quickly they became a cherished part of our family.

We still laugh when we think about our “ferocious” guard puppies. Rex and I just happened to be sitting on the edge of the bed one afternoon when our door bell rang. Within seconds both Lizzie and Lucy had responded — by jumping up onto the bed and hiding behind us! But as they got a little older, they did indeed become guard dogs who were determined to protect us.

Lizzie was always on the porch or at the door to greet us when we had been away, even if it was just a day at work or a trip to the grocery store. If she didn’t hear us coming, as soon as we opened the door her tail would start wagging and the look on her face told us she was glad we were home.

Somehow she seemed to sense when we had been to a restaurant, and always found her way to my purse, sniffing it to see if there might a treat for her tucked inside. There usually was.

Until she got too old to get onto our bed, that was where she would sleep at night. She always knew which one of us needed a little extra warmth at night and would snuggle close, while Lucy snuggled, too.

When one of us was sick, she seldom left our side. It was like she was saying she didn’t know what to do to help, but she was ready and willing to do what she could.

Lizzie was a great listener, too. Sometimes she would look up at you with those big brown eyes as if she was trying to say, “It’s okay. I understand, and everything is going to be all right.”

Lizzie loved people and was always ready to make friends with strangers. At the same time, she knew which people were not friends.

I could go on and on about what a great dog Lizzie was, but I will just say she loved to be loved, and knew how to return that love. She never asked for much, just some food and water in her bowls, a treat now and then, and love. The more we gave to her, the more she gave back to us.

We were blessed by the Lord to have her with us as long as we did. We will miss Lizzie for a long time to come, and will always have cherished memories of her. One of these days we will also have to say good-bye to Lucy, and she, too, will become a cherished memory.

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Thought for the week — A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. (John Grogan)

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