For the past month, I’ve been thinking about the events that unfolded last year after the veterinarian spoke the most horrific words to me, “Lulu has cancer.” My heart stopped and my darkest nightmare had just become reality. And in the blink of an eye, she was gone. I’ve played the scene in my mind over and over in the past year, and it never ends well. She’s still gone, and my heart still aches for her. As I write this, I think to this exact time of day last year, sun shining, cloudless sky, a slight chill in the air. We walked Lulu in her wagon to get her some fresh air. She was severely anemic at the time, and could not walk without becoming weak. So we loaded her in the wagon and took a nice stroll in the neighborhood, took her out of the wagon, let her walk in some nice grass, and took some lovely pictures with her. They would be our last pictures and our last walk with her. That night, Lulu ate little and was very weak. She laid in her bed and watched my every move as I made dinner. The radio was on, and Joe Cocker’s, “You are so beautiful” came on. I laid on the kitchen floor with Lulu and held her in my arms as tears streamed down my face. I knew it would not be long. In the early hours of the morning, Lulu’s breathing was labored, and I knew it was time to call the veterinarian. She arrived a short while later, and as we laid on the floor with her, the doctor gave Lulu a shot to help her sleep. As she took her last breath, Lulu licked my nose to tell me goodbye. Lulu was no longer in pain, but for me, the pain and longing has never stopped. A few minutes ago, I laid on the floor and enjoyed a sunbeam as it shone through the window. As my eyes closed, I remembered all the other beautiful sunbeams I enjoyed with Lulu and her brother Monty. Monty would lay near me, and Lulu would balance herself on my chest or on my ribs if I laid on my side. Such a perfect way to love and be loved by my pups. These I count as my most precious and heartwarming moments. The year has passed quickly, and though time has healed some of the wounds, not a day goes by that I don’t think about Lulu…her face, her personality, her smell, her soft fur, and her constant companionship. She was my sweet and special girl. Daddy’s girl. As with Monty, Lulu’s remains are on our mantel, and I greet her every morning and bid her a good night every evening. She was a faithful companion for three days short of 11 years, and I owe her my lasting gratitude and love. I can’t reverse time to undue Lulu’s fate, however, I can look to the future in anticipation of enjoying a perfect sunbeam in Heaven with her. Until we meet again, Little Girl.

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