Our beloved dog Goldie has been gone for many years, but I still think about her from time to time. She was my four-legged best friend for all thirteen years of her life. Goldie was a red bone hound mix that we found abandoned at a city park in 1996 when she was just a puppy. She was all skin and bone, and this made her paws look even larger than they already were. With a lot of love and plenty of good food, she reached 110 pounds in size by the time she was two years old.
What Nan and Dan were to Billy in, “Where the Red Fern Grows,” Goldie was to my two young sons. She was their babysitter when they wandered into the woods and their nanny who faithfully tucked them into bed at night. With Goldie by their side, I never feared for snakes, stray dogs or any other wildlife dangers. She would have given her life to protect them and was powerful enough to win the battle.
More than being a guardian and playmate to my two youngest sons, Goldie was my companion. She was by my side in every good memory I have of those years. She was also there with me through heart breaking times, as well. I can remember burying my face in her fur and smelling her goodness during those moments when I needed a good cry. When the boys were grown and began to start homes of their own, it was Goldie who carried me through empty nest syndrome. Actually, I think we carried each other. Only the two of us could completely understand the other’s sense of loss. They were her babies, too, you see.
The day that Goldie died was one that I will not ever forget. She had cancer and was suffering from the pain. How long she had it, we don’t know. She was always tough and never let on that she was hurting until the pain became unbearable. My knees buckled when the medical report came back. I realized that we would have to put her down that same day. There are no words that could ever express the depths of sorrow I felt on that day.
We buried Goldie in the yard. My husband and sons dug a large hole with a bobcat tractor, and together, we laid her to rest. It took a few days before I was emotionally strong enough to go alone to her grave. Even then, my heart was still very broken and tears were streaming down my face. I looked up at the sky and cried aloud, “Lord, I only want to know one thing. Did she know how much I loved her?”
God immediately spoke to my heart in only the way He can:
“Every day of her life.”
Those words brought me such peace and fell over me like a blanket of comfort. I knew in that moment that I would one day see her again.
Until next time! ~ Susan