My list of “thank you’s” could turn from a page into volumes, and, maybe it will. We all know that nothing about you was small. Each day, I add more. But, here I must share, you must know my “thank you’s”, so far…..
TurtleDove, thank you for bringing sunshine into a dark time.
For walking into our home and knowing right where you fit, and being patient until the pack knew as well.
Thank you for lifting our spirits every single day.
Thank you for putting up with silly headbands and our endless duo yoga poses.
Thank you for knowing just how to welcome others- whether with a kiss or patiently waiting for them to know they wanted a kiss.
Thank you, TurtleDove, for bearing the weight of years of others cruelty and somehow loving all you met.
Thank you for letting me melt into giggles at your hilarious sneezes that came in threes with full smooshy wrinkly face shakes.
Thank you for putting up with Patrick’s endless grooming- whether it was a tongue in your ear or some odd type of tooth flossing.
Thank you for being Ethel to Paisley’s Lucy, Shirley to her Lavern, Thelma to her Louise- or, whatever whim she had.
Thank you for letting my 80-year-old father bathe you, and, for knowing exactly what he means to me.
Thank you for embracing adventure like you had no limits -running to the oceans waves like an ol surf pro (but kind of looking like a stout lizard on a mission), hiking mountain trails, and swimming on your birthday after rolling down the hillside with your birthday hat on sideways.
Thank you for appreciating each toy by getting them out, nightly, one by one.
Thank you for facing every surgery and health issue with so much grace that you became the veterinarian’s office favorite.
Thank you T for protecting us, always.
Thank you for searching my eyes when others assumed I was fine, and knowing what I needed.
Thank you for embracing kissing booths, hugs from toddlers and children, and nonstop walk interruptions to greet older ladies on the block.
Thank you for trying bacon infused water, frozen watermelon, and sprinkled donuts on Easter.
Thank you for being a tooth fairy, a giant strawberry, an elf, and an Easter bunny…oh, and our warm baked potato to cuddle with on cold nights
Thank you for showing what true beauty is, that it is not rooted in the norm, but in a bootylicious big pittie, or whatever else makes any of us different.
Thank you for showing others the patience, intelligence, humor, and integrity of your breed.
Thank you for becoming everyone’s dog, as your friends and supporters referred to you as “my TurtleDove”, and you did belong to them too.
Thank you for letting us have a zillion ridiculous nicknames for you (T Mommy, TD, Turtle Lovey Dovey, Silverback, Manatee, House Hippo, Tank, T-Rex, Zen Mama) and coming to each one.
For rolling on your back and reaching for the stars with your short T-Rex arms. With you everything was possible.
Thank you T for the silly sleepovers with your aunties that included watching pickleback shots, ear piercing laughs, wandering the neighborhood for donuts, and having hair extensions accidentally stuck to you (for snuggling so close to one auntie in particular).
Thank you for intuitively knowing when things weren’t silly or fun.
For not leaving your leader, Lova’s, side when she was sick. For choosing to sleep on the floor with her, slow your pace to walk with her, and allow her your treats and food.
Thank you for staying near Lova as we said “goodbye” and standing over her after she passed, as her deeply mourning sister.
Thank you for somehow staying long enough to make sure I was ok.
For ushering me back into life. And even welcoming new fosters like Jasper (who you so cutely walked under, like he was a bridge).
Thank you for rolling in the sun on your lawn, sneaking out once with Paisley, and guarding our house. Silly and such, you liked this job.
Thank you for finding the spot that you deserved, right in the middle of pillows, with your nose so close to the fire place.
Thank you for living in a terribly abused, exploited, overbred, cut, and cancer riddled body, for you-my brave and sanguine girl- inhabited it as if it were a palace.
Thank you for wagging your tail through all of your challenges.
For somehow kissing me while taking medicine and while I treated your wounds. You knew I was trying.
Thank you for letting me know you only needed a little bit more time, then for spending a few last moments outside in our yard, laying in the sun with your pack.
Thank you for facing the clear nebulizer box in the emergency room, and being separated from us for the first time. For being so good, you were again deemed the vet favorite.
Thank you for kissing my face through the box. For burrowing in a blanket that had the scents of your pack, and eating your homemade food (gently from my hand) one more time.
Thank you for coming out and laying with me while I held your chubby paw (goodness my girl, what I’d give to hold your paw again) on the blanketed floor of the emergency room.
You listened as I spoke of imagining us by the fire- our noses so close that we glowed…
I hoped you could hear heaven rooting for you, (like the chanting cheerleaders you met at the Suicide Prevention Walk), “we are proud of you, yes, we are proud of you”.
You laid in my arms T, thank you for listening as I quietly sang to you to Paradise, to the Bridge. To your leader. And, to my Mom.
You entered your new realm with your signature peace and trust.
TurtleDove, you are my Sunshine, my only Sunshine. And, no one can take my Sunshine away.
I love you a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck, and a hug around your huge neck.
I will see you again soon T Mommy,
Love, your mommy