Dear Brutus/Baby Bear:

You were 5 pounds when we got your from a breeder and absolutely adorable. On our way home you peed all over my lap and I didn’t even care. I was just so happy to have you. In those early days you loved carrying around shoes that were twice your size and chewing on wooden spoons that were 3 times as long as you. You were eager to learn and please. I remember coaxing you down the sidewalk as I was teaching you how to walk on a leash.

I took you to training classes…agility and pet therapy. You were SO excited when I asked if you wanted to “go to class.” You loved being around the other dogs and people and passed all your certifications with flying colors. I was so proud of you and the way you puffed out your chest I knew you knew.

Brutus, you were my solace and safety as we both suffered through the abuse of my first marriage. As he isolated me more and more from friends and family, you were my best friend and my comfort. Our trips to the dog park were our one escape. We would spend hours there.

Everyone called you the dog park greeter because every time another dog would come into the park, you would run to the gate to greet them and walk in with them. You had many friends there, both dog and human. You would chase the ball when you felt like it, but mostly just liked to play keep away with it….especially if it was someone else’s ball. An angry dog owner would be chasing you for a half hour and you would just delight in it.

You would hunker down with me as the anger and hate swirled around us. Sometimes he would take you from me and go behind a locked door. I could hear you whining and crying. Sometimes I would scream at the door, begging to be let in to save you. Sometimes I would quietly cry, hoping it would be over soon, knowing that my begging only brought him more pleasure in hurting you.

As things grew worse, I knew that leaving was my only option. I could have endured longer and tried to make it work, but this life was not fair to you. You did not deserve to live in fear of this man. YOU saved me from that marriage. You were my motivation to leave and never return. Although my self-esteem was crushed to nothingness, I at least knew that my precious dog needed a better life.

When we came to Colorado, you were by my side licking away tears as I worked through the fear and anxiety. You were my therapy and my strength. When Matt eventually came along, you let me know that he was a good and kind man. I knew that if you could trust him, I could trust him too.

Brutus, you’ve been a trooper these last few years as I’ve brought so many changes to your life. You adored and loved 5 sweet kids that I brought to you. And you’ve been so patient with baby Lexi…licking her head to show her love and howling when she cried as if you wanted to comfort her but didn’t know how. You amazed me as you were so brave in going blind. You never stopped wagging your tail or loving your walks. You were smart and valiant as you found your way despite the darkness.

When I let you out on Friday you were spunky and happy as you ran out the door with Buster. I thought it would be like any other potty break…you’d be barking at the door in a few minutes. I went inside to get out ingredients for dinner and then came back to the door to call you in. Buster was there, but you were not. Since you always stayed close to the house, I began to panic. Buster kept going through the grass at the front of the house to the fence as if he was telling me where you were. Then I heard the cars…hitting something wet. It wasn’t raining.

I ran to the road with a flashlight, praying that the blood in the road was not yours. I could finally see you lying in the road, with the white hair on your chest giving you away. I still kept praying that it wasn’t really you. I waited for cars to pass, just wanting to get to you. Finally I ran to you, screaming, “Brutus, Brutus.” But you were gone….a small blessing; I hope you went quickly. As I drug your lifeless body from the road I screamed “No, No….what have I done?” over and over and over.

As I sit at the window overlooking the road where you died, I am angry at those cars who drive this road. I hate them for hurting you. I hate them for taking you from me.

My crying seems ceaseless. Everything reminds me of you. I cry in the night when I hear Lexi because I know you are no longer sleeping in her room watching over her. I cry in the morning, not wanting to get up to face a day without you. I cry when it’s time to give you your insulin, because you aren’t there reminding me it is time. I cry when I leave the house because you aren’t there to say goodbye to. I cry when I return home because you aren’t there to greet me. I cry as I try to work because you aren’t laying on the floor beside me. I cry as I eat, because you aren’t under me begging for food. I cry as I sit on the couch because you aren’t there lying by me eating your bone. You were a part of nearly everything I did.

God, was this your will? Was I right that Brutus had seemed different the last couple weeks? Was he growing ill? Was this your merciful way of saving me from the decision to put him down? Was this your merciful way of saving me from seeing him suffer? God, I accept your will, but please will you tell me…is he happy? Is he with you? And please, will I be with him again?

Brutus, you were much more than just a dog to me. You were my savior, my best friend, my companion, my joy, my inspiration, my motivation, my solace, my comfort…I love you Brutus. I miss you Brutus. You will forever be in my heart.