Yesterday evening we bid farewell to our best friend, Logan, a Sheltie mix that had blessed Heidi's life for fifteen years, and mine for the last four. We had a professional humanely euthanize him, and it might even have been a bit overdue. It was becoming more painful for us to watch Logan labor through his days, instead of truly enjoying life. He was 16 1/2.
This was my first real pet, in the traditional sense of cats and dogs, and I found it surprising how quickly I fell in love with him. I'm already missing him licking my nose; the soft sound of him shaking to fluff up his fur; the clinking of his tags as he trotted ahead of me on the leash. He rarely barked, but I think I even miss that.
When I first met Heidi, her answering machine greeting began "You have reached Heidi and Logan...." It took me awhile to recall instantly that Logan was the dog and not another suitor. In retrospect, I realize I had quite the competitor in terms of loyalty and unconditional love.
No matter how much my education in the sciences reminds me of the dominance of instinct in other animals, I can't shake the idea that Logan was more than that. Even if he wasn't, his endearing quirks and unique personality were captivating.
I am sure that for many days, even weeks from now, I'll stop myself and think that I need to go walk the dog, feed the dog, check in on him downstairs if I am upstairs. Logan was a rescue obtained from a shelter, and we are unsure what trauma, if any, he sustained before Heidi got him. He certainly got stressed out over the microwave, when he could still hear well. He was always reactive to strangers, though quickly settled down in the presence of our friends.
Logan won't be replaced any time soon. I mean, he won't ever be replaced in our hearts; but we won't be getting another dog in the near future, either. We might move, and wouldn't want to visit that stress on a pet. At the very least, the carpet needs replacing lest it drive another pet nuts from residual odors alone.
I'm not sure whether there is a Heaven, but if there is, I am confident that all other animals go there, too. I would not want any part of the afterlife if that was not the case. We are comforted a little by the idea that Logan is finally free of physical limitations to truly enjoy dog paradise. Rest in peace, sweet buddy.