Sunday, January 9, 2011

Losing a friend...

Yesterday, Mary Lawson and I had the honor of being with Browning as he took his last breath. As heartbreaking as it was, it was also (strangely) very precious. Browning is now cancer free, pain free, allergy free and electric collar free. He is free to run the gold paved streets of heaven and I know he is having a ball.

The rest of us on the other hand.... not so happy. Browning was our first FAMILY pet. ML has had many different animals that were hers but Browning was ALL of ours. I never have been a huge animal person. I mean, I like most animals just fine but I have never been animal crazy like some friends are. They are just a lot of work and quite frankly, I have plenty of work to do around here already. We had talked about getting a dog and I knew that "for the kids", I would go along with the idea. I wanted a Golden Retriever because they are such a picture perfect dog. You know, the husband, the kids, the house, the picket fence, the Golden on the front porch. That's what I wanted. I knew he would be pretty in our family pictures and that was how I made my decision. It was easy to convince David that a Golden would be the best dog for us because he had a Golden as a boy who was his best friend. Annie Dog was always loyal and was a good dog so he was sold. Now, there is NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING cuter than a Golden Retriever puppy but my practical side knew that I could not have a puppy in the house. I checked into the rescue here and next thing I knew, they were coming out to do a home study to see if we were good enough for them. If we were capable of taking care of a dog. I guess when they saw that we take care of five kids, we could handle a dog so we were approved. We told the lady that we wanted a blond female. That was the picture I had in my head that would look good on the Christmas card. She said she would call us back and let us know when our dog was ready. She did call but she said that she had found a red male that she thought our family would love. There was an adoption fair being held at Petsmart and this red male would be there. I agreed to go but I wasn't feeling the love. We gathered the kids in the car that Saturday morning and went to meet the red male, Keegan. I walked in and saw the lady we had been talking with. She led us to the dog and I have to say, it was love at first sight. He was beautiful! He was HUGE and I knew he was OURS! We took him for a walk around the store or should I say he took us for a walk. Think Clifford the big red dog. Keegan (later named Charles Browning by us) never had good manners. He would plow over anything or anyone to get to where he wanted to go- just like a Johnson kid. We all agreed that we wanted this 85 pound beast. We gathered supplies and loaded him into the car. He fit right in. He was a maniac. He would get out the front door and he would run as fast as he could! You could usually find him down at Mrs. Mobley's under her carport eating her cat's expensive high dollar geriatric cat food. I know he always was very sorry even leaving her a bag of the same cat food on her porch step with a note saying that he had borrowed some of the cat food and wanted to replace it. We finally had to get an invisible fence to keep him in the yard and away from Mrs. Mobley's carport. With all that said, Browning was a good dog. The best. He made this cat loving girl become a dog lover. He never once had an accident in the house. Even in his last hour, that sweet baby tried to stand up to get to the door to throw up. He was loyal and fun and we will miss his sweet crazy ways. I'm not sure if we will ever get to a point where we will not be looking for him as we drive up to the house. Time will heal our hearts but we will never forget what a good boy he was.

He is now buried in the backyard of the house we are going to be buying soon. The owner is a good friend of ours and was gracious to let us lay him to rest there. There is an empty place in all of our hearts but we will never forget the lessons he taught us. He taught us about life and about dealing with death. Until we meet again, Charles Browning....

2 comments:

Donna said...

-Sigh-we lost our beloved Yorkie Sam in September from a liver tumor so I know JUST how you are feeling! It's evident that you loved C Browing so much and he was a wonderful family pet.
Shedding a sympathetic tear here for you all....Hugs form Ohio...D

melanie, aka Mo said...

WOw. A cosmic connection! We expect this to be our last year with good ol' Earl too! You know we LOVE a Golden! He was running from Staci's the other day and Todd said, "One of these days, he's just gonna..." and about that time he actually started teetering back and forth, and i swear I thought he was having a stroke! I said, "Todd, this is it." and I ran to help him. He was apparently just out of breath (severely!!) and recovered about 15 minutes later. oh man, it will be a sad day at the Groves house!! (todd is crazy about the Golden doodles... or something like that. Think Golden puppies, with curls!!)