We brought Rhett home when he was just six weeks old. He was meant to be for the kids but very quickly made it known that he was a momma's boy and momma's alone. We had such great adventures together. He knew all four of my kids by name and would readily hunt any of them down to "give love" which consisted of licking their faces until they were covered in a puddle of drool. He was also our protector. He could be counted on to attack my husband in a moments notice if he began tickling or wrestling what he deemed to be too roughly with me or the children. Of course, it helped that he was trained to the "kill" command which would have him hunched down barking playfully at whoever it was he'd been told to attack.. usually my husband.
Rhett was my constant companion. He was an 80 pound lap dog who slept in bed with my husband and me each night. He was always ready to go for a ride a more often than not accompanied us when we left the house.
Rhett and I had one of those special bonds that movies are made about. He was my "old yeller" or "old Dan and little Ann". He knew me inside out. He knew when I was ready for fun and we'd play fetch for hours on end. But he also knew when I was blue or didn't feel good. On those days he'd lay by my side offering his loyalty and love.
I guess it's days like that..like today... that I miss him most. I've been sick for the past two days, and I miss the warmth of his incredibly large body snuggled up against my legs. He gave me such comfort at times when little else could. It's amazing how you can grow so attached to an animal and then mourn them so.
Rhett has been gone for almost two years. After trying unsuccessfully for a year to relieve him of the pain that accompanies hip dysplasia, we made the difficult decision to put him down. I know in my heart that it was the right thing to do. It would have been a selfish thing to keep him around when he hurt to the extent that he did.
Rhett was my once in a lifetime dog. There'll never be another to fill his paw-prints.
I miss you, boy...