This is likely the hardest thing I have ever written.  Writing this message in a Facebook post seems so disrespectful as he means more to us than what I could ever express in that small space.  So I’m writing a blog post about our family member.  Maybe this will give you insight as to what he meant to us and how big of a loss this is to us.

Poe was searched for through many different rescue groups after waiting an entire year from the loss of my first dog named Ginger.  We went to meet him at his foster home with his sister and his mom.  His mom’s name was Sandy and she had a bad eye but was sweet and kind.  Poe, then named Taos, was friendly and adorable, crawling into Jason’s lap and jumping all over Nora.  I knew instantly that he was the one.  We were alright with his birth name because we had never heard it before but Nora, true to her personality, refused to call him Taos and kept saying, “C’mon Poe!”  and I had never known a dog named Poe and in those moments we all agreed…..Poe it is!

Poe grew up to be so many great things.  A young child coined him “Slow Poe” in agility classes in his younger days.  As her 2 Australian Shepherds ran all of the equipment flawlessly, Poe would lay with this girl in the center of the arena and he expect endless petting from her.  I knew then that he would never be an agility champion but possibly an outstanding therapy dog.  And an outstanding therapy dog he was!  For years we volunteered at several schools using Poe as a gentle and loving reader dog.

Poe was also a canine life saver, I mean that literally.  He donated blood dozens of times to help save the lives of his own canine friends.  He also helped me train and socialize many puppies and dogs.  I never had to question his intentions or the safety of his corrections.  He was amazing.

Poe was our home protector and the protector of our neighbors homes as well.  He would notice when a different vehicle that he had not seen before, was in our neighbors driveway.  He would bark until I came down and looked and assured him it was safe.  This happened on too many occasions to count.  I swear to you when I say that he didn’t bark when it was vehicles that were frequent visitors to their home.  He was the great monster preventer for Broc for many years when Broc was too afraid to sleep alone.  Even when Poe could no longer jump onto Broc’s car bed, Broc was happy to have Poe’s orthopedic bed taking up valuable play space on his floor.

I became “Poe’s mom” to many of my children’s friends, not my kids’ mom.  After meeting Poe only once, they were hooked and it made traveling through the hallways challenging because he would draw a crowd.

Poe was so many things to me, the person behind this story.  Truth is, I think I’m having the hardest time with him being gone.  My children seems to understand, my husband is functioning better…..but me, I feel broken.  It only happened yesterday, and I know it will take time…..but he was like no dog I’ve ever known.  I will miss him being the “playground attendant”.  Even earlier this week, when Smiley and Fry were just getting too rowdy, he interjected himself between the 2 with a weird noise he makes and they instantly settle down.  I’ll never have that again.  He was the dog that would snuggle me whenever I would cry.  I remember countless time when I would be laying on the floor and he’d come and bend his head down to nuzzle my neck/chest and then just let the rest of his body flop next to me.  I would giggle because it seemed so silly that he would do that.  I will miss that every time we finished a paper towel roll we would bang it on the edge of the counter and he’d come running to get it to take is upstairs and throw it around and eventually destroy it.  I could go on and on about all the things I’m going to miss.

I’m writing this to express so much of what I’m feeling inside, but in the same breath I can’t even put into words what I’m feeling.  I’m sad coming home from breakfast with my best friend because he’s not there with the sound of his nails on our tile floor.  I’m mad because we couldn’t fix him.  I’m clearly destroyed because I found a dried area of his vomit in the bathroom just now and I don’t want to clean it up.  I want him here, I want another day of him when he wasn’t in pain, I want his hair all over my bed, my car, my house and Jason swept already.

In order for me to heal, I know I need to think of the positives.  So, don’t send me a message about how you are sorry and if I need anything to ask….I know that.  I believe I have an amazing circle of friends that would be there for me in a heartbeat.  Instead, dig up a picture you may have of Poe and share it with me.  Tell me a story about him that you or your child remembers.  And if you didn’t know him personally, I challenge you to take your healthy dog, your puppy, your geriatric dog and do 1 thing special this weekend and share it with me.  I don’t care if it is a walk, a pup cup, a baby pool, a sand box, a car ride, an on the bed snuggle, a kiss on the lips.  Whatever it is that makes your dog smile…..share it with me.

May Poe forever live on through this challenge and through the love you give to your dogs.

#PoeChallenge

#PoeStrong

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