Loving Memories of our Labrador Retriever, Alvin
In the Spring of 1995, my husband and I were blessed with a clumsy, gawky, shy lovable Black Labrador named Alvin Wesley, who had been living in a no-kill shelter.
Alvin was 5 years old and so full of life and mischief, very grateful for parents to love him and give him a place and toys to call his own. It was no mean feat to teach him that wallets, shoes and belts were not toys and to show him how to take walks and to play fetch. He "loved" to dance with me, which translated to standing on his hind-legs and giving me a big old-fashioned bear hug. It was as if he were slow dancing. He did it frequently! My boy was always there to greet me, even if I dashed out of the house for a couple of minutes.
Alvin was a patient Southern gentleman who waited for his parents to come home from work every day. We always did. And he would faithfully greet us with his toothy grin and wagging tail.
When I was discharged from the hospital and physical rehabilitation after serious injuries in the summer of 1999, Alvin knew he could no longer dance with Mommy. He was, however, my constant companion during the recovery process. His facial expressions were so empathic and calming. It seemed my little boy "grew into a man" over this process.
Alvin hung out with me all day. We loved to sit in the garden...my boy preferred the shade of a glorious Night Blooming Cereus that had been given to us by an elderly neighbor. Given to her as a young girl, today I figure this plant is over 100 years old. We loved that it bloomed every seven years for us...a magical happening for sure.
In June, 2004, we added some more joy to our home. My husband and I brought Alvin along for the final decision in the adoption of the sweetest puppy girl we could find: the sultry, initially aloof and intelligent Yellow Labrador, that we named Aunt Baby. As Alvin aged, she became even more sensitive, coming to get me in another room if he needed help getting up in his final days.
On September 7th, 2009, my husband and I faced the inevitable. Alvin was so dignified but growing ever weary. We worried constantly that he would fracture his hips trying to get up, taking turns sleeping on the sofa and realizing that the quality of his life was suffering. We consulted with our wise Vet who concurred that it was time to say goodbye to our boy.
My husband and I played Alvin's favorite Willie Nelson CD for him and gave him a big fat, juicy steak bone. Man, did he chomp down on that bone! I had always been so careful with the dangers of possible perforation. I just remember repeating in my boy's ears how proud we were of him for all of his good work and now it was time for him to rest.
I believe those we love never leave us. In fact, I'm convinced of it.
Since 2009, our plant has continued to thrive ~ as if it got a new lease on life. In fact, it blooms now every year ~ isn't it gorgeous?
I know Alvin is looking down with joy. And Andy Jordan has an eerie respect for his older brother's special and everlasting shade plant.
Recently in the Weeblyhood...
Growing & Loving a Thornless Blackberry Bush via WarnerWords
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Until next week, be happy and peaceful,
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