This dog that ate a whole chicken and bottles of pain pills, chewed our wedding album and too many books to count. This dog that was a lot of work...and was seriously stinky...Elmer James Earl Avery Jones.
I could easily classify Tuesday as the 2nd hardest day of my life. I stood and watched Ryan explain to Leah before leaving for school that she needed to say goodbye to her beloved Elmer. She's always loved him, just as much as Ryan. We cried, we consoled, we hugged and we dried our eyes. Ryan took Leah to school.
An hour later, I watched Ryan go through the same steps with Logan. We expected it to be more complicated but Logan was really too sick to think on it too long.
And then my precious husband did the hardest thing he's ever had to do. He hooked on Elmer's leash, let me tell him goodbye, hugged me tight, took a very deep breath, hugged me tighter, and bravely took his first step toward the door with his Elmer.
Elmer had a large tumor in his stomach, more than likely, it was also in his liver too. It was the hardest right choice Ryan's ever made. Once again, he took care of someone else's best interest, instead of keeping him around awhile longer, which would have certainly been his preference.
I don't know my husband without Elmer. He was in the picture of Ryan's life for 4 years before I came along. While I cannot feel what Ryan feels missing his pal, replacing elements of his daily routine with new things, I can feel that there is a deep loss. For that loss , my heart screams.
I was rocking Brady to sleep the next evening and as I swayed back and forth, I caught a glimpse of Ryan through the crack in the door. He was sitting on the couch with the quilt I had made him 7 years ago. This quilt had pictures from each of our past, and of our life together. I realized immediately that he was looking for the picture of him holding Elmer as a puppy. We spent the next hour looking through photo albums, remembering the happy Elmer.
While I didn't snuggle him, or nap with him or use him as a pillow to watch movies, I did care for him for 10 years. I always did appreciate the safety he provided and the joy he brought to Ryan and eventually our kids. Because of Elmer, I know my Ryan on a new level this week. Our family has grown closer because of you. You were a good family dog and the we won't forget you. Thank you for being part of our family. I'm pretty sure you've found your new family with Ella and Skeeter and Cody. And I bet you're bouncing around and happy, maybe even tracking some pheasant. While you are on your way to new horizons, we're finding our way too.
Thank you, Elmer, for your 15 years of faithful service to the other half of my heart. You did good, pup.