Well, it was another one of those weeks again.
When I wrote last week's Progress Report, I knew there was a lot on the agenda ahead of me to begin with, having a bunch of errands and other stuff to attend to.
What I didn't expect nor was prepared for was to lose a furry friend.
Ranger the chocolate Labrador Retriever actually belonged to my friendly neighborhood beta-proofreader Nancy Hansen, but he was one of the nicest dogs it has ever been my privilege to know. Always kind and friendly. Ranger would only bark to acknowledge and announce your presence, happy to see you. His tail always wagging as he looked forward to a pat on the head, a kind word, or maybe a yummy treat.
|Ranger, in better days|
I first met Ranger when he was still in the prime of his canine life, so seeing his declining health in the last couple of years is not something I wish to remember or dwell upon.
The last few months were especially not his best, but you couldn't tell that from the way he acted. Sure, Ranger looked bad. A lot of gray fur with an almost totally bare tail, difficulty standing up or sitting down, let alone even moving around in the last couple of weeks; but in his heart he was still that friendly dog I first met all those years ago who always looked forward to and enjoyed your company immensely.
I did get to say goodbye to him before the end. Told Ranger he was a good dog and meant every word.
Even as I post this Progress Report, I still can't believe how choked up I am over his passing, and at best I was just on the outer edge of Ranger's circle of friends, so you can imagine how Nancy and her family felt when he left for what became that final trip to the vet.
We consider them pets, but it's amazing how much of our hearts an animal companion occupies.
They're always there, with all the love and friendship they're able to give, and ask so little in return.