Simon died today. He wasn't famous, rich, or popular. We didn't even know Simon for very long, but something about him tugged at our hearts. Simon had the most beautiful brown eyes fringed with silky white eyelashes; his eyes were always smiling when he looked at you. When he was not looking at you, those same eyes had so much sorrow in them. Simon was not able to communicate his past history, at least not verbally, as speech was not a gift given to him.
My husband, Gary, and I first met Simon last fall while looking at a log house, we eventually purchased. Simon was a resident at that home; if you can call living your life tied to a tree a residence. He was dirty and disheveled, with burrs uncomfortably attached to various parts of his body. Even then, he greeted us with enthusiasm and delight; I'm sure if he had been able, he would have invited us to share his small domain with him.
After we had made the appropriate arrangements to buy the log house, the current owners told us that they no longer wanted Simon as a member of their family. They did not give a satisfactory reason as to why Simon was no longer wanted. A silent plea for rescue emanated from the general direction of one very lonely and frightened dog. My husband told the homeowners that we would purchase Simon if they threw in the house as an extra. So, along with our lovely new home, we adopted this gentle creature.
Immediately, we released Simon from the confines of his tether and invited him indoors to meet Taz, Missy and Yorkie, the other canine members of the family. He greeted them with the same delight and affection he showed us. We took Simon to the groomers to have what must have been years of filth removed from his coat and body. Simon was patient and cooperative with the groomers; he must have sensed that this was all a very good thing. An immediate transformation took place, what was once a scraggly, pathetic-looking mutt, was now a beautiful, soft, and silky show dog. However, since we were not sure of his breed, we suspected a Malamute or Husky, Simon would not be making a public debut in the show ring.
Gary and I came to doubt the estimated age of Simon; we were told that he was 8 years old. He was so energetic and playful that we were sure they had estimated incorrectly. As it turns out, Simon was making up for a lot of lost time. He bounded about like a puppy, explored everywhere, and discovered the joys of cats! Fortunately, our cats are accustomed to the enthusiasm and curiosity of dogs and promptly established the ground rules with the new member of our menagerie.
An initial visit to the vet, when we first adopted Simon, did not indicate any serious health-related issues. The vet gave Simon his current inoculations and sent him home with us to begin his new life. We did start to notice a little cough here, a bit of weakness in his legs there, but did not place much significance on the symptoms. Two nights ago, those symptoms made a gangland-type assault on Simon, and that assault took our Simon from us. The veterinarian that assisted us with Simon's care said he passed on from congestive heart failure. She could not offer us much of a how and why it happened so suddenly; we were heartbroken.
In his short time with us, he taught us an appreciation for the time we are given. I'm glad we were given the opportunity to give Simon love and attention, and to make his life a bit sweeter. I believe that Simon is now residing in heaven with our Blessed Lord. No doubt, he is much happier, as there is no pain or suffering, no tears there, only love, joy and happiness in that holy domain. It is our hope, that one day, Simon will once again be our beloved pet in God's glorious Kingdom.
Dear Rene and Gary, As I read your sharing about Simon I could see him in my minds eye, and what a joyous and loving time he had for that length of time with your family. How wonderful for him, and yourselves, that he was loved and endeared before he departed here. I love dogs, and we have had many. Have a little terrior 13 yrs now, and she has her problems. I'm sure that Simon is in Heaven, and very content. Bless you and your sharing. Sister Jacque