The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. In the same week that we brought home our newest family member, another was lost.
On Tuesday, underneath the white Alabama sand, we buried our dear black lab, Cali.
It's weird when you loose an animal, isn't it? The grief isn't for another soul…or another human being…but for the wonderful companionship the animal brought to your family.
The half dozen times I traveled out to the sun room to move laundry yesterday I caught myself looking for her. She always came to say hello when she heard the kitchen door open.
When the sun popped through a break in the clouds, I found myself gazing out the window watching Toby sun himself in the yard – fully expecting to see Cali laying beside him.
Each time I opened the front door, I expected to step over her.
When the FexEx truck came down the road, I expected to hear her bark.
There is just a vacancy in our home without her. A vacancy that will surely pass, but for the time, it is a vacancy none-the-less.
On Tuesday morning, after all piling into the XTerra to take Stuart to work, we passed the neighbors driveway. A small black lab lay in the middle, obviously pulled off the side of the road by the driver of the car that had struck her.
In disbelief, Stuart stopped the car. I called out to her, though I knew as soon as her name left my mouth how ridiculous I must have sounded. We jumped out of the car and ran over. Stu quickly put his arm around me and told me to drive the car back. He picked her up, in his work clothes, and carried her back home.
She had obviously died the night before. Her body was cold.
I can only hope that she died instantly. And I am thankful it wasn't…messy. Without the small cut on her hip, I would have almost thought she just simply layed down and passed away. But cars leave their marks.
I don't blame the driver. Cal was black as night, almost impossible to see a few feet from your face, and enjoyed wondering around the neighborhood. Because it's such a quiet, one-lane road, we really didn't mind. She was used to running around the farm, after all.
My poor CalBear.
I surprised Stuart with her as a pre-wedding gift. She's been a part of our family since, literally, the beginning of our family. It's sad to see a piece of that pass.
I so badly wish that she could have been buried back home on the farm. That's where she should be.
Alas, hard moments come to us all.
I am thankful she was able to spend lots of time swimming in Mobile Bay these past few months.
And lots of time chewing on sticks.
And lots of time sunning herself in the Southern heat.
I am also thankful the Lord has designed dogs to be our companions and friends. Even if our years with them are short, it's still a great blessing to enjoy their company while we can.
I will miss her sweet face.