Do you have daily rituals? Is watching the sun set one of them?
It used to be for me. A ritual, I mean.
Please don’t misunderstand, I still watch every sunset, but it no longer has the ritual of sitting outside, cold beer in hand, neighbors sitting next to me, and sometimes, like in this photo, Lab on lap.
Exactly one month ago, on Valentine’s Day morning, our beloved Canine Son, Carter, took his final breath, and that night, we watched a beautiful Florida sunset – with one less spectator.
I still have the post-it note up on my office wall, near the phone.
Crazy, isn’t it? I mean the things we think about and the things we do.
So, in the midst of the fairly intense topic the past few days, I’m going to switch gears today, and revisit a topic from ten days ago.
Something like 14 months ago, we thought our beloved Canine Son (Yellow Lab) Carter was going to die, perhaps in less than one week.
I asked our son, “What do you think we should do with Carter before he leaves us?”
“Take him for ice cream at Twistee Treat”, he said, without hesitating.
And that’s exactly what we did. In hind sight, that trivial post-it note probably didn’t need to be written. I mean, what Father would forget to do something as important as honoring this “last request”?
And then there’s the next question, “Why does this adult (50) still have a stupid little post-it note hanging on his office wall?”
We’ve been talking about a beloved Family pet, our Yellow Lab, Carter.
Virtually all pet owners understand the remarkable bond humans forge with their pets. And it’s especially strong in a pet relationship where there are no children.
Here’s the gift we received from what we thought was our very last weekend with Carter. We were staying at Mitchell’s Sand Castles, which is pet-friendly and on a quiet end of Sanibel Island. It was our 22 visit.
After a nice day on the Sanibel beach, with Carter at our side all day, we had a nice dinner in our cottage. I was walking contemplatively through the dark and tropical setting, taking the trash up to the road.
When around one dark corner, I was mildly startled by another man, standing by the road. Unusual, and a little freaky.
We said casual greetings and then he asked me, “Were you the guy with the Yellow Lab on the beach this afternoon?”
“Yeah, that was me.”
He said, and I will never forget this, “I’ve never seen a dog wag it’s tail so much. You must have the happiest dog on earth.”
There was a reason we went to Sanibel for Carter’s last weekend (so we thought) on earth.
It was so I could meet the total stranger out by the road, waiting for his pizza delivery guy.