I’m not sure that I can do this properly. It hurts too much and I don’t want to let her down when I’m writing such an important post. I’m just not convinced that I can make the appropriate connection between my heart and my words, at least not deeply enough, not with the thirteen-plus years of love and trust and devotion we have all shared.
To say that Scout was a “good dog” doesn’t even begin to cover it. I know we all experience loss, and love our pets, and shed tears enough when they are gone. But this relationship was something extra, something special, something that – quite frankly – surprised me.
Scout Labradoodle was Rebekah’s dog. They fell in love with one another thirteen years ago. But she soon roped me in and not only was she my “work at home” companion but we walked (best estimation) almost 20,000 miles together, likely a lot more because when she was a puppy (for at least the first six years!) she scampered a good five miles for each two I put in.
She was a big dog too, ranging between 75 and 80 pounds, so we are conscious that this many years of vibrant life has been a rare gift. But she has been struggling for a while now and though her tail still wagged the best it could, and she did her absolute utmost to be with us (even crawling up the stairs at bedtime at the end) this week there was no doubt that it was time for her journey to come to a close.
There is no denying that this is so very hard. Rebekah and I both feel a heavy, heavy weight on our hearts and we have cried so much this afternoon (Wednesday) and we feel the loss of her all the way to the core of our souls.
At the same time we are so very grateful. If we were unwilling to ever grieve then we would never risk love, and the amazing gift of so many years of such a faithful, genuine story would not have been ours. We are richer because of Scout and always will be.
So goodbye you playful, funny, affectionate, loyal, rambunctious, long-haired, disheveled, devoted, loving and lovable Scoutie, Labradoodle extraordinaire.
I’m sure this won’t be the last time I write about you. I do not know what Heaven will look like, but if God is as deeply invested in my joy as I believe, then we will play with you again, along with Mozart (my Bichon) and Lassie (Golden Retriever) and the cats, Darth and Scratch.
I love you, Scout Labradoodle, Rebekah and I both do – and it’s going to take a long while to get over this. But like I said, we are so grateful that you chose us all those years ago. Good dog, Scoutie, great dog.
Photos from Monday (outside) and today
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.