I hate writing eulogies. They remind me that someone dearly beloved is forever gone. They remind me that when I reach out to hold them, they're no longer going to be there. They remind me that what we have left are but distant memories.
I hate writing eulogies.
So what I am going to write tonight is a story of triumph and love.
Tonight, I am going to write about Dollar.
We don't know how old Dollar really is. We guess she might be around 7 or 8. She came to us when Wee received a call from some workers one day, asking if he was willing to accept 4 breeder dogs that they were told to "throw away". The four were Dime, Dollar, Doris and Xena. You've probably never heard of Dime. She's Dollar's fellow golden retriever and she was the first of the lot to go.
That was around 4 years ago. Over the next 4 years, Dollar recovered beautifully. Some dogs hate the shelter, especially dogs who had been abandoned by their owners. Having tasted the wonders of home life, they know that the shelter is nothing in comparison. At the shelter, they get fed just once daily. Humans only clear overnight poop the next afternoon. There were so many other fierce dogs on the other side of the fence. They would then cry, whine and wish they were anywhere but the shelter.
Ironically for Dollar, she didn't want to be anywhere else but here, with us, at Gentle Paws. She knew she was safe at the shelter. She knew she was loved. She liked the familiar smells, the familiar faces and the familiar routines. Many times over, she obstinately chose the shelter over adoption, refusing to bond with her potential adopters, running away back to the shelter the moment she had the chance to. It was as if she was telling us, I'm happy where I am, don't make me go.
And so Dollar stayed with us right till the end. As she took her final breath, she was surrounded by people who loved her. She heard the voices of heartbroken volunteers who scrambled to give her parting words over the phone. She was held in the arms of Wee, the very man who saved her from the throes of death all those years ago and the very same man she loved with all her heart since then.
Dollar lived through adversity in the first half of her life. But hers isn't a tale of sorrow and pain. Hers is a story of triumphing over the worst hand life can deal her and coming out a big winner.
Goodbye Dollar, goodnight. Don't feel lonely. You're gone, but you'll always be with us somehow... in our hearts and in our minds. We'll see you on the other side pretty girl.
Dollar will be cremated tomorrow and her remains will be housed with Wee. Any where Wee goes, we're sure Dollar will want to as well.