Love Leaves A Memory (by Talia Schaefer-Davis)
A.A. Milne, the author of Winnie the Pooh once wrote:
"How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
On March 17, 2023 I had to say goodbye to one of my best friends. More than that, she was a precious member of my family. Snickers, our dog who passed the average life expectancy of her breed by a couple of years, was tired and ready to rest. For the past year we all knew it was just a matter of time, but it still came much too soon. We miss our dog so much and as expected, are struggling with her absence. But the saying above really does apply so perfectly. I am so thankful we had such a wonderful addition to our family while we were able to!
In late summer 2005, my brother, sister, mom, and I were at the Bettendorf Teske’s about a half an hour before the store was going to close. We were contemplating how we were going to convince dad to let us bring home a new friend. In the end, a direct approach with a dash of cute puppy persuasion was the route to take!
We called dad, who had just arrived home from work, and somehow successfully got him to drive to Teske’s. Honestly, I am not sure how he didn’t see what was coming.
He walked into our aisle to find all four of us sitting on the shelves watching a tiny little white puffball weave in between and around our legs! Tara lifted the small puppy up, holding her just in front of our dads face and said, "Please dad?”. Mind you, we had been asking about getting a dog for awhile but this was the first time we used one as a visually appealing persuasive method.
Much to our surprise, dad agreed, on a couple of conditions of course. The first being that we all took the responsibility that comes with having a dog. I believe his words were,
"I don’t want the stupid dog, so if you want the stupid dog, you had better take care of the stupid dog. If I am paying for the stupid dog, I get to name the stupid dog.”
After a few seconds of consideration my father was inspired by his favorite candy bar which he happened to be holding in his hand at the time, thus bestowing the name of Snickers.
And that’s where it started! She came home with us and was immediately a loved member of the family! Oh and, that stupid little dog that my dad didn’t want, became his best friend!
When he would come home from work, the greetings would take place as follows,” Hey babe (to mom), hey red (to me), SNICKERS!!! Hey pretty girl!”. Snickers would anxiously stare at dad as he’d slowly remove his glasses and set them aside. Her tail began flying back and forth leading to her running in circles! She knew that once the glasses were off, it was time to play! Dad would then drop to the floor and have the time of his life wrestling with this little pup who was so excited that her dad was home!
As the years went by and our family grew, Snickers showed us just how good she was with children! My brother and his wife’s 5 children, and my sister and her husband's 4 children all got to have Snickers be a part of their lives as well! They all adored Snickers and would definitely wear her out with all of the playing which she loved every minute of!
I could sit here all day and share stories about how good of a girl my dog was! But what I want to say is, this is my first time losing a pet. I have comforted friends and family who have lost theirs and I saw just how much they hurt from it but I never understood until now. Though it really hurts that she’s gone, I am so thankful for the memories I have with my dog! At first, I felt a little silly being so emotional saying goodbye to a dog, but she was nothing less than my loyal companion, faithful friend and a much loved member of our family - and she deserves every tear!
If you have just lost a pet, it’s ok to be emotional. The hurt of losing something precious is healthy and has hidden beauty. You can’t miss something you didn’t truly care about. Be thankful that it’s hard to say goodbye, because that means you’re mourning the loss of something really amazing. Be thankful for all the memories you have, laugh about the funny stories you can share, and always keep a special place in your heart for them because they never left your side and never truly will!
Rest In Peace sweet Snickers - the best dog EVER! You left your mark on our hearts!
(July 2005 - March 17, 2023)