Went to the Pacific Spirit Forest (aka the UBC endowment lands) and had a memorial for Sampson. We kept putting it off for one reason or another, but I really pushed for it. I just needed to say goodbye and he deserved a good sendoff. It was a gorgeous day, just perfect. You could smell the earth, the green, feel the cool breeze on your cheeks. The sun shone through the trees. My best friend and her husband came and our friends, Jeff and Leanne and their kids and Sampson's longtime doggy girlfriend, Nikki. That's them chewing on each other. She had a picture of the both of them hanging on the dog's neck. DH found a sun dappled spot beside a trail. I wrote a short speech about what a great dog he was and all that he taught us. And then read the lyrics to the Pink song about losing a dear friend and then we spread some of his ashes. Tears streamed down our faces.
Leanne's little girl, 3 yrs old, kept asking where Sampson was. He had stayed with them last year and and apparently she was quite fond of him. They had told her he had died, but you know, she wasn't quite grasping that. She kept asking me and looking around for him when I told her he was there in the park. At one point, desperate for a way to appease her, I pointed up to the sky. She just looked up. 3 yr olds are literal. Okay, have to remember that. I then told her he was at Rainbow Bridge, which is apparently where beloved pets go. That gave her something to think about but I'll leave it to her parents to explain further. I wasn't about to tell her we burnt up his body and put them in an urn and that he was never coming back.
We shared stories about him and went for a coffee and a snack. DH played hide and seek tirelessly with the little girl, while the baby girl enjoyed a snack at her mother's breast. I always feel a tad awkward around small kids, torn between jumping into their world or having an adult conversation. I guess that split attention is something you have to work on.
For years, I would listen to parents talk about the funny things their kids did or said and I would counter with the funny things my dog did. Yep, sad, but it was my way of saying if I have to listen to your stories, you gotta listen to mine. Now I talk about waiting for the email, the phonecall, or how surprised I am at how expensive all the baby gear is.
One strange thing happened; that night we went to bed and DH closed the bedroom door. We started talking about how Sampson never liked doors being closed. He was always butting the door open to check on you. 2 minutes later, the door opens. We stare at each other. Then I say let's do it again and see what happens, that was probably a coincidence or gravity or something. So DH closes the door and 3 minutes later, the door opens again. We left the door open and said goodnight to Big Boy.