Throughout the week, we've had to experience many firsts; the first morning I wouldn't be letting her out; the first time she wouldn't need to be fed; the first time she wouldn't be greeting us at the door when we came home; the first time she wouldn't barrel toward the door when Terry would come through after work; the first breakfast involving bacon that didn't have her sniffing and begging for even a crumb. Then there were other things...like how I frantically was searching the ground to see her fresh paw prints in the snow before the next round of snow wiped them away forever. Or how I had no idea that new snow had arrived until I went to start my car before work one morning, because I hadn't been outside at 5 am to check the weather with her.
When I look back on this week years from now, what I will most remember is the kindness. The kindness of friends expressing their sorrow; from those who were lucky enough to have met the Gabby during her lifetime with us and from those who had never met her but knew of our devotion to her. From Tyla, who made this sweet print for me that now rests on my desk at work so that I can look at it every day and remember this goofy, loving, silly pup:
From Alicia, who left me some Hershey kisses and a sweet note on my desk at work; from Susan, who just hugged me as I sobbed in the break room as I told her what we'd be doing the next day; from Kerry, who had just lost her cat of 18 years the day before, and who was patient with me as I couldn't keep it together all day at work in light of our decision and who graciously brought Madeleine home to us that Friday afternoon so I wouldn't have to make the trip back to Lewiston; from Annie, who knew and loved Gabby as much as we did, and who stopped by that night to bring me flowers and wine and dark chocolate salted almonds which I'm now addicted to, and treats for the kids, and for checking up on me throughout the week and for crying with me; from Meg, who checked in on me almost immediately after it happened, and throughout the weekend; to Amber, who I know more than anyone feels our pain, but gently reminded me that the sting will lessen every day; from all my coworkers and friends who read my tribute to her or posted loving thoughts or who I saw out and about, and asked how I was doing; from my sister, who let me know she was thinking of me; from friends near and far who have sent cards or texts or let me know we're in their thoughts; from Androscoggin Animal Hospital, who created a loving keepsake for us to always remember and cherish her by.
To all of you, thank you. Thank you for your kindness, your thoughtfulness, your tears, your smiles, your wishes, your friendship. We miss Gabby every day, but the sting is lessening. Time heals all wounds, but love endures. We'll move on...but we won't forget.