Monday, July 16, 2012

Goodbye Clay

Today I got the sad news that our sweet, gentle giant Boxer, Clay, has passed away.  My heart is so heavy tonight.  I have cried, pretty much all day and night with sweet memories pulling on my emotions, prying laughs at funny memories, and more tears at the thought of the permanence.

We got Clay from a friend of ours when our lab, Logan, was still a young puppy.  Our friend worked too many hours to be able to care for Clay the way he needed and we happily took him.  It turns out he would end up being quite the ladies, um, dog.  Clay would follow me all around the house.  Upstairs or down, in the kitchen, out to our office, many times into the bathroom with me while I would take a bath.  He was the first dog I'd had that was 'mine'.  That's not to say he didn't love the kids and Jon, far from it.  But, he was definitely one of mind with me.  We had an understanding.

One of the hardest things I've ever had to do was to rehome Clay before we left for the UK.  We really wanted to bring him, but knew that the weather would really wear on him with his stiff joints and age.  We found a woman, but after we left, she took him to the animal shelter.  They found him to be aggressive and after they were able to get ahold of Jon, he begged them to talk to him using his name.  Quickly, he became the front office favorite, and they then reached out to our saviors, Boxer Luv Rescue.  They picked up our scared boy and got him to his foster home.  We were so blessed that Clay was saved.  We could have very easily never known that he was in trouble.  This story is, of course, much longer, but I'm trying to be positive about it.

BLR contacted Jon this morning.  Here is their email:
"I wanted to let you know that Clay passed away today. He had been slowing down and yesterday he just could not get up. His foster family took him to the Vet and we discovered that he had a mass in his lung. He was helped to the Bridge with the family there with him. I thought that you would like to know that he was loved by his foster family and will be missed, especially by the three children who spent so much time with him every day. He was such a gentle boy and even though he could have gone anywhere in the house that he wanted to, you could always find him right in the middle of all of the activity. When the children were outside, so was Clay. If they were watching TV then Clay was laying there right next to the other dogs and the children. He has given this family a lot of love and they, in turn, have included him in every aspect of their lives. He will be missed."

Some of my fondest memories of Clay:
- When I was pregnant with Joe, he would lay with me on the futon that we had as couch (unfolded in front of the tv) and every time my belly would kick Clay, he would wag his tail.  
-Also when I was pregnant, I would take a nice relaxing bath every night and Clay would come and lay on the rug, waiting for me.
-When the kids came, he was so patient and kind with them.  He would let them climb over him, tug on his ears, and just be plain annoying.  But he always loved being around them.  
-He would follow me everywhere and loved to lay at my feet in the office when I would work from home.  
-He would sing, yes sing, with Jon and every time Jon whistled, he would come running.
-He snored something awful.  Louder than me, and that's saying something.
-When we lived in Scottsdale we lived in a house with a big pool.  It was impossible to keep him out and believe it or not he knew how to swim.  He would like to wait for the pool raft to come to the edge so that he could climb on and just float around the pool.  Other times he would lay down on the step and just chillax.
-Once when we were play boxing, yes Boxers box, he accidentally pawed my eye and I had a corneal tear.  It was so painful, but I never held it against him.
-When the kids were tiny, we would put blankets on the ground for them to lay on and inevitably Clay would find some tiny corner to lay some part of his body on.  He was always super cautious around the kids as they were babies and older.
-He would literally sit on Logan.
-He was the only dog at the dog park that would rather just lay down and wait for the time to leave rather than run around and play.
-He loved snuggling with Joci's blankies.  I had to wash them so many times after catching him lying on them.

These are just a few of the memories that I have of my sweet Clay.  He was beyond a doubt the sweetest, gentlist dog I have ever had the pleasure to meet, let alone love.  I missed him so much coming to the UK, but somehow now, knowing he's gone forever, my heart feels torn to pieces.  I will always remember him, my silly, goofball Clay.  My funny, happy Clay.  My caring, loving Clay.

I hope he knew that we loved him so dearly.

Joe and Joci had a hard time understanding what happened.  I had to explain what putting a dog to sleep meant, and that realization truly hurt Joseph.  Jocelyn cried when we looked at pictures of him.  They both drew me lovely pictures so that I will always remember him.  They are so sweet.  I hope they never forget him, too.

Goodbye Clay.  I love you so much.  
You were the BEST DOG EVER!
Clay and Logan, best buddies for 10 years!

Clay loved snuggling on Joci's blankies, too!

Joci's picture for Clay.

He had such patience with the kids.

Joe's picture for Clay.


1 comment:

cara said...

so sorry for your loss Jen