Thursday, September 8, 2016

To Oakley: May You Rest in Peace

Most of my blog followers have been introduced to my dogs, Oakley and Gracie.  I heard from so many of you when I did the post Lessons Learned from my Dogs.  This morning, Oakley died at the age of nearly thirteen. 

To honor her life and her passing, I'm going to share some of the favorite pictures I've taken of her over the years.  One thing that stood out about Oakley was her attitude.  She was always sweet and smiling.  Her beautiful tail never stopped wagging.  She was consummate Golden Retriever.

As a young puppy, she adored her big sister Lucy.  They were about three years apart in age and were inseparable.  Oakley couldn't get close enough.

Even as the two aged, and became white-faced as Goldens often do, the two often shared the living room chair and ottoman.

When Lucy died, Oak was really lost and about six months later I acquired Gracie, a mini-goldendoodle.  Oakley's spirits lifted as the two formed a bond of their own.  The size difference between the two was immense, but Oakley was always gentle with the little one.

They became close buddies and had one adventure after another in the back yard.  Here they're chasing critters deep under the snow.  Chipmunks, mice, voles!  They're retrievers, after all.

Like Lucy and Oakley, Gracie and Oak shared the big brown chair.  She put up with a lot of Gracie's shenanigans,  but she also knew when to draw the line.  This wasn't one of those times!  She was such a good teacher.

But, Oak was an individual dog in her own right too.  She loved looking out the window and would rest her chin on the windowsill to watch what was happening in the neighborhood.  She had a lovely, soft coat and it shone in the sunlight.

Her favorite spot was on the screened porch and she always had her Blue Dog stuffed animal with her.  Last night, when she adamantly refused to come in from the porch at bedtime, I was pretty sure it would be her last.  And it was.

Even after going through two enucleation surgeries because of glaucoma and countless painful treatments for chronic ear infections, Oakley always gave love to those around her.  She was a calm presence in my life, and Gracie's too, and I am grateful for the years we had together.  Rest in peace, dear pup.

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