To My Friend Dexter

To My Friend Dexter

I had something else planned for today’s post but life had other plans. I am not in the spirit to write the cheerful Christmas related post I had in mind for today.

My family suffered a huge loss yesterday morning when our first family dog, Dexter, passed away.

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Dexter had been ill for a short time and never quite recovered after a surgery to remove a mass on his neck. It was determined he had cancer and the vet was surprised he had hung on as long as he did.

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He was not euthanized. He passed away in my dad’s arms, at the vet’s office, after being presented the option of euthanization. My dad needed time to think but Dexter knew it was his time to go. I think it is beautiful that he crossed the rainbow bridge that way, with my dad, with whom he had an incredible bond.

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Dexter was my first dog.  We got him in 2008 when I was 16. I had grown up with two cats, Leo and Lucky, whom I loved greatly, and have also passed on. As much as I adored my cats, there was something completely different about Dexter. I had never known the love of a dog before him.

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He gave the most unconditional love on the planet. All he wanted was his people. His family. He had boundless energy, and sadly a lot of separation anxiety as well. He jumped all over everyone but it was his way of showing his love and excitement for all the humans in his life. He struggled a bit when we brought home two more dogs, Felix, and Max in 2010 but he eventually adjusted and formed an interesting friendship with them.

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I have so many beautiful memories with my Dexter boy. We slept together (along with Felix and Max) every night for many years until I moved out of my parent’s home.

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I’ll never forget when he was a puppy and I brought him out on a walk. He had one of those retractable leashes and, this tiny little pup, pulled so hard on the leash that it snapped off and he ran right into someone’s open door! Thankfully the people were understanding and we all laughed about it but I remember being so frazzled and could not believe that my dog did that! It is a memory I would remind him of any time I brought him on a walk (and I never got a retractable leash again).

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Another great memory of Dexter was when he was a puppy my parents went on vacation and my brother and I were home to watch him. In the middle of the night he knocked over the trash can and helped himself to leftovers 😐 At the moment it was atrocious but over time I laughed about it because Dexter just loved to eat. He was known to be very sneaky when it came to knocking over lunch boxes and sampling food off your plate if you walked away for a minute.

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But he was a sweetheart. He knew if you were in a bad mood, he’d come to cuddle you, lick your face. One of his favorite places to take a nap was under my dad’s sweatshirt. My dad would sit on the couch and Dexter would maneuver himself right inside the sweatshirt and stay there for as long as he could tolerate it. He loved to snuggle with us. It was all he ever wanted. Everyone home.

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When my niece was born, wild Dexter somehow knew to be docile with her. They also formed a sweet friendship over the years.

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Dexter was simply, the best good boy. He will be so sorely missed. I’m having such a hard time accepting that he’s really gone. That it happened so quickly, and that he didn’t deserve the pain that he endured in the end. I wish I could have been there for him more in the years since I moved out of my parents’ house. Leaving the dogs was one of the hardest adjustments for me and I still feel guilt over it even though there was nothing I could do. I was not their owner. I could not take them with me.
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The only comfort I have is my belief that, energy that is created cannot be destroyed, and that I believe that Dexter’s beautiful, boundless, excitement, love and energy has transformed into something else. Into another life. Maybe he will come back to me one day in another form. I hope I recognize it if that happens.

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I will never forget my Dexter boy. I will always love him. He holds such a special place in my heart.

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Thank you, Dexter, for showing me the love of a dog, and for being my dear friend.

Dexter
7/7/2008 – 12/3/2019

 

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