October 27, 2010

In Loving Memory of…Adidas Francois Gyrbaud

Filed under: My Thoughts — jodi @ 9:29 pm

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I’ve always said that the most difficult issue we face in physical form is separation. Being introduced to love and then having it taken away is such a painful task of the human experience. Unfortunately, everyone in our home felt that pain today as we had to put down our beloved 15-year-old Shih Tzu, Adidas Francois Gyrbaud, aka “Bo.”

Bo was more than just a pet to us—he was a family member. When a pet comes with the gift of unconditional love, it just makes it all the more painful to say goodbye. Our pets don’t ask much of us. They mostly give to us. They always meet us with joy and acceptance, trusting us to return the same. We can, at the very least, know that we gave our sweet Bo the most love we knew how to give. My devoted companion stood fast by my side most every day of his life, and I returned his loyalty through daily biscuits and lots of scratching behind the ears. Even in the act of releasing his spirit from the weary, withered body that hosted his gracious BEingness, we did so with love.

I could not bear to be the one to witness his death, so my husband, Billy, agreed to take on one of the most difficult tasks he’s known to date. With several starts and stops throughout the week, he made the decision to allow today be the day Bo gained freedom from this earthly realm. He shared with me that Bo’s last moments were spent with the two of them together, while Billy read the beautiful poem:

 

The Rainbow Bridge

inspired by a Norse legend

By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,

Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.

Where the friends of man and woman do run,

When their time on earth is over and done.

For here, between this world and the next,

Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.

On this golden land, they wait and they play,

Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,

For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.

Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,

Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

They romp through the grass, without even a care,

Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.

All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,

Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.

For just at that instant, their eyes have met;

Together again, both person and pet.

So they run to each other, these friends from long past,

The time of their parting is over at last.

The sadness they felt while they were apart,

Has turned into joy once more in each heart.

They embrace with a love that will last forever,

And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.

Very quickly, he said, Bo left his body behind and it was done. The vet, the nurse and Billy all had tears in their eyes as the difficult task of letting go was completed. Somehow, Billy made it out of the office maintaining his composure, but took the rest of the day off to grieve and accept. I had already spent the morning holding Bo in my arms while singing “100,000 Angels” to him. I asked my family members who’ve crossed over to walk with him to Rainbow Bridge, and I told him we had other pets that would greet him there. I imagined his body young, once again—his vision and hearing returned. I saw angels standing all around us, and I knew he would be running and chasing with friends soon. “Be sure he gets his daily biscuit,” I requested.

Once Dayna came home from school, she and I went and bought flowers and a stuffed dog that looked like Bo, and we placed them on the grave Billy had crafted for our little angel. Gatlyn, who was also very close to Bo, let us bury him on the back corner of the driving range property, just past the two ponds and under the shade of a nearby tree. Cattle roam in the pastures just past the graveside, which makes me smile. When Bo was healthier, we would say, “Bo, there’s some moo cows in the back yard,” and he would run to greet them with his rowdiest barks. We often lived in the countryside, when he was younger, and he pranced around as though he was the protector of a grand kingdom. His kingdom grew larger today.

Bo was born in May of 1995…the exact same time that Dayna was born. I’ll always remember how we used to lay Dayna on a blanket in the floor of the living room and how Bo would stand guard with the ferocity of a Rottweiler, daring anyone to come near. I also remember the first boisterous belly-laugh that came out of Dayna was due to Bo. I was holding this tiny baby on my lap, and Bo came racing up and jumped up to sniff Dayna. He then ran and ran in circles, as fast as his tiny legs would carry him, only to bolt back to the hearth to sniff her face again. Dayna thought it was hysterical! She laughed so hard, everyone came in to see what was going on. Although she had a healthy respect for him, they grew to be close friends and it was Dayna that changed his name from Gyrbaud (pronounced jer bo) to Bo Bo…and then Bo.

Bo was special to all of us in different ways. Gatlyn was much like his sibling—the one who rough-housed with him and revved up his playtime. Billy would sneak him bits of sausage when he thought I wasn’t looking, and Ryder was another one of his “brothers.”

But Bo, for whatever reason, chose to be my shadow. Always at my side, I know many reading this will remember him well. Wherever I was, Bo was. He was my tireless companion—so devoted to me that when I would leave, he would sit at the door and wait for my return. We even had to give him anti-depressants when he was boarded, because his separation anxiety was so intense. When I worked with clients, he sat at my feet, “helping” those who were suffering. Yes, we had a unique bond, and I am going to feel a bit empty without him at my heels. Sitting here, typing this, feels so incomplete, because I keep looking down, expecting to see him there. Walking through the room, I glance around, thinking I see him prancing by…but then remembering. At just at this moment, a piece of his white fur fell from out of nowhere onto the keyboard. Yes, Bo, I know you will always be nearby. I see you.

Only a year ago, Bo was full of life. He was running after the deer and dragging out all his toys for his 8:00 evening playtime. He loved his squeaky toys best and he especially liked to retrieve and then run away with his favorites.

But then came the pesticide incident of July 2009. It took a huge toll on our furry friend. He was simply too old to understand why we were constantly moving, and with each move, he became sicker and sicker. Within months, he was completely blind and totally deaf. He withdrew more and more. Our vet felt the stress was too much for an older dog. He stopped playing at night, and slept most of the time. The only thing that could bring a wag to his tail was that daily biscuit. By the time we moved into this rent house, he could no longer walk to go outside. We had to carry him up and down the stairs. Looking back, I’m grateful for that…at least I had the opportunity to cradle him in my arms many times. In his final week, he could barely stand, and was refusing to eat much of anything. His once muscular frame was a frail bony structure and his legs would shake as he stood to drink water. It became clear that our “puppy” was no longer here. All that was left was for us to let go. One by one, we all came into the back room and said our goodbyes. Everyone knew the end was near. And then, the day came. For the love of the one who loved us so dearly…we surrendered our friend into the arms of the angels.

For all those who have loved and been loved in such a Divine manner as this…you know where my heart is tonight. I know the pain will subside, in time, but I also know Bo’s place in our hearts is a permanent one. No other will ever replace him…no other can.

Tonight, we say goodbye to our little Bo, but we will meet again one day at Rainbow Bridge.

Until then, little friend, keep a watchful eye for our return. We’ll be together again. I’ll bring your Squeaky.

In loving memory…  Adidas Francois Gyrbaud (Bo), May 1, 1995 – October 27, 2010