Last night around 8 the doorbell rang. Joe and I were talking in our room at the time. I had to say, "wait, was that the doorbell?" For years, we didn't need or hear the doorbell, since Jasper would alert us of the approach of anyone, human or otherwise, through the yard long, long before they reached the front door and the doorbell.
It was our neighbor, David, come to ask Joe's help with Soleil, their dog. Soleil and Jasper were puppies together, Soleil a little younger, thirteen in August. Soleil has been sick with cancer, has been declining as dogs so tragically do, before our eyes, growing ever sweeter every single day. She's always been sweet, but lately when I've seen her, she is just so sweet and cute, slowly putting one paw in front of the other.
Soleil had had a bad day. She'd been indoors for hours, so they let her out in the front, to her favorite patch of lawn, and she couldn't or wouldn't get up. David was asking for Joe's assistance in devising a way to carry her back into the house, so they could keep watch with her, since it seemed her time was near. Of course, our entire family, all three, headed over, eager to see Soleil, to be of assistance to our wonderful neighbors during what is truly such a terrible, painful experience.
And there she was, Soleil, beautiful white dog, such soft-soft ears, stretched out in the grass, breathing shallowly, blood dripping from her nose, Kathi by her side.
Oh how hard this was for us three, so fresh is our loss of Jas, but how sweet too to be able to be there with Soleil, to stroke her and love her and tell her what a good and beautiful girl she is. We sat in the grass with her for a little bit, petting her as the sun set, taking in her gorgeous face, the way she looks so much like a little polar bear with her gold-tipped fur and black nose.
We carried her indoors and laid her on a rug near the front door, close to her favorite spot on the couch. And petted her and chattered to her and kept our neighbors company for a bit.
And then we went home, and I cried my eyes out, missing my sweet Pony and thinking about Soleil and all of the tremendous sweetness dogs bring to our lives.
I wouldn't trade it for anything, no matter the huge pain of the loss.
Dear, dear Soleil, precious little neighbor-friend, wishing you peace and a release from pain. And sending all our love, always.