Wednesday, May 9

Time to Let Go

Setting out to Sea
For over nine years, I have kept and protected the ashes of my beloved golden retriever, Natasha, who died tragically at two years of age in MS.  With us setting to leave our home in east Texas and move close to the water, I felt that it was time to let her go.  JT was the one that found her body and returned her to me where I kept her ashes all these many years ('because you never leave a man behind').  She never enjoyed being cooped up in a crate, being left alone, and loved being on the water. Her final resting spot needed to be in the water. 

So Saturday the winds were high, the sun was out, and the sailing was perfect. We crossed into vast open waters hours away from port and found a solitary, lovely spot in the middle of the open waters. 

As I opened Natasha's box that stored her ashes, Whitley, our golden that we got after Natasha's death, began to bark and Bud, our lab, who loved Natasha, joined in with her. We asked, "what are you all barking at?"  After I dropped her rose petals into the wind, they began barking again (there were no birds or shore to cause them to bark). After reading her memorial and turning the stern into the wind, I slowly spread her ashes into the water. Now she will be forever with us where ever we sail.

Two puppy loves, Bud and Natasha, after the Jackson Pup parade 2003
One remarkable story about Natasha, JT, and me needs to be told. Shortly upon JT staying more at our home Natasha had less or no room on the bed for her to sleep by me.  Out of anger or frustration of an encroaching bed mate, she did an unbelieveable act.  One day I entered the water closet and what did I see in the bottom bowl of the toilet.  A toothbrush.  JT's toothbrush.  I asked JT if he knew that his toothbrush was in the toilet.  He did not.  Natasha went to the sink, grabbed his toothbrush, carried it across the bathroom into the water closet and dropped it into the toilet. She did not touch her own motorized girly toothbrush just JTs. 

Natasha Baytop when I fell in love with all Golden Retrievers

My sister's dog, Gabriel, a lab mix, passed away this past year who was 15 yrs. old.  She had a massive tumor on her back that made walking very difficult. Of course while they were on vacation and I was watching her, she had to have the melon sized growth removed. Surgery went fine, but things became worse once my sister returned. We went to check on Gab, and she was not responding to anyone. Once my sister bent down to say goodbye, Gab looked up at her, wagged her tail, and died. The vet and workers said that they had never seen that before. She had waited for her family to say goodbye before letting go...

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