I remember like it was yesterday, I was sitting at Panera with Shalome and Faeza when my brother called. “Meet us at the pet place” and we knew exactly where that was. I didn’t hesitate to get up, but on our way there all I could think about was how I didn’t want another dog, not right now anyway.
We still went.
My eyes of course went straight to this Golden. She was bigger than the others, older too by a few weeks. And through the glass, our eyes met. Before I knew, we were in the car headed home with a puppy.
We would name her Elsa, after the lion cub from the movie Born Free. She was the sweetest thing and I learned very quickly that she was stubborn just like me. Through the course of the 12 years that we spent together, Elsa taught me so much about love and patience. When I was in nursing school, she would sleep at feet while studied. And when I started my first nursing job, she would wait up till I got home for our midnight strolls.
The years just seemed to pass us by so quickly, those were the good days. I suddenly was face to face with my worst fears. I remember the day my brother texted, “I think something is wrong with Elsa”. Once again, she looked into my eyes as I looked into hers and I knew. As I sat up with her that night, I thought about what Elsa would want. What I didn’t want was to be stuck at work and for her to die alone, I didn’t want her to bleed to death, and I definitely didn’t want her to feel scared.
The next night came faster than I imagined. I was sitting on the tiled floor with her on my lap. She was huge, but I knew she was scared. As I embraced her, I could feel the pounding of her heart. The veterinarian pushed a medication I was way too familiar with. That moment would be the last time she would look into my eyes. She looked scared, but she felt safe. She trusted me, I told her it was going to be okay and she closed her eyes for the last time. The pounding of her heart slowed and within seconds it would beat no more.
Elsa softened my cold heart. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my princess, she was the love of my heart and I never realized how much love was in my heart to give.
There is a season for everything under sun. `I know God put her in that particular season to teach me so much about love, patience and forgiveness, but mostly being there for someone. Everything reminds me of Elsa, the sun, the winters, the rain, and apples, especially apples. I will always remember how much she loved apples.