I think it’s going to rain today.

Written By: B.D. Butler - Oct• 29•13

clayLast week, as some of you know we lost one of the Parrot Earth family members, Clayburn.  Clay was the first Golden Retriever that I got to know up close and in person.  He was the right hand man and wingman of my husband for ten years before I got the honor to “throw a tennis ball for him”.  To be frank, I was not a huge fan of the Golden Retriever breed, because of their “needy” temperament, but Clay was anything but needy.  In fact if anything he was a stubborn ass at times and incredibly independent.  He always had to be in front, be the leader where as Sheldon out two-year old is just a natural healer dog.  Not too sure of himself and always let Clayburn take the lead.

clay.3I remember bringing Sheldon home when he was just a puppy.  We let Clay interact with Sheldon way before we ever brought him home, and he wasn’t too impressed with this little “thing” to say the least.  However, because we knew that Clay was getting up there in years, we wanted his good qualities taught to Sheldon, someone who could carry on the gentleness and kindness that Clay carried with him.

I was told when I met Clay that if I ever threw a tennis ball, that I should be ready to throw it again and again and again.  I made a mental note, but really had no idea.  Until it happened to me.  Over and over he went after that tennis ball, until I had a cramp and we had to stop.

clay.6Clay also loved to swim in the ocean fetching balls, and you had to make him eventually stop, or he would just keep going.  I have never seen a dog love the water as much as he did.  Sheldon, actually doesn’t really care for the water yet, but maybe in time.

The one thing that I am eternally grateful for is Clay being Clay.  He had a very distinct personality and was just a loving family dog.  I seriously never saw one living creature he didn’t adore.  He also had the kindest eyes that a dog could have, nothing but rays of love shot out of them.

I took Clay to the vet, because he looked a bit bloated.  They took fluid and did some tests, and I never thought that I would be taking him into the vet that day, for the last time.  He had early onset cancer and was going into congestive heart failure.  On a scale of one to ten, the vet said his quality of life was a solid one or two and he was in pain.  This is when we made the decision to put our zoo leader out of pain.  I was raised, when an animal’s quality of life is diminished and they are in pain, it’s time to not be selfish but think of their best interest.  So, Clay is now swimming in the ocean chasing countless tennis balls, waiting for us.

clay.2The loss of any pet is never easy.   For some it is like losing a member of the family and losing Clay has left our family broken.  Sheldon has been morose and lost, the animals are “off” and we find ourselves listening for him every time we get ice from the ice maker (it was his favorite treat).  I am sure that things will go on, just not the same.   We have discussed getting a puppy, one to add a little happy back into the house, have someone for Sheldon to be a puppy with and show them the legacy that Clay brought into our lives.

Just as I wrote this, Dexter said “good boy Clayburn, good boy”.

I couldn’t have said it any better myself Dex.

Copyright 2013 – Parrot Earth – I think it’s going to rain today

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  1. Lara Joseph says:

    My deepest condolences. Please know I am thinking of you and your family. Dogs are such an integral part of our lives.

  2. Kathy Heaton says:

    I am so sorry, but also thankful you did not falter but were able to perform that final kindness for your precious one.
    Offering heartfelt sympathy and understanding thoughts. May fond memories comfort you.

  3. You wrote a great tribute for such a deeply loved family member.

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