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Ten years ago, Teresa and I rescued a puppy from our neighbors yard. That little fellow was named Blu since he had one blue eye and the other was half black and half blue. Blu, a gorgeous mutt sheep dog who was adorable and loving, and quickly became part of our family. As Blu grew to an adult dog, he was funny, it was almost like he wanted to stay a puppy! Playful, attentive and the leader of our four dog pack. Blu died the other day, and as much as I am trying to be brave and manly about it, well, it isn’t working. Blu was my constant companion for the yard, walks or anything really. He was a sniffer though, always leaving my side for a scent and hope for an adventure. He was a gentle dog who helped rear his brother and sister puppies, as well as three cats from kittens. Never did he mind a kitten butt cleaning excursion, he figured it was all part of the job. One of his many amazing moments was when we fostered four kittens from two weeks old. I am talking bottle fed and wash cloth cleaned. You would have thought that Blu gave birth to them himself the way he loved and looked out for them.

Fighting back the sadness, and of course that always nagging feeling of regret when it is too late to do things differently. Thinking on such things does not honor the memory of a dog so cherished. So, I sat to write this column so I could get out what is in my heart, good or bad, put it on paper, and truly love through memory one hell of a dog! One night, Blu met a skunk, as horrible as the stench and the necessary cleaning was, it is now imprinted in my mind as a funny moment in time with my buddy. Regret, I experienced much regret in my life, as do you all. Even the death of my mother brought much regret, not because I was not there for her, I was, I used to visit every night, read to her my columns, her favorite western books, no, my regret was born from selfishness! I look back during her final weeks on earth, and me trying to decide if I should let her go or not. She wanted to go to God! She told me that months earlier, and yet the selfishness of a heart raking decision stalled inside me, I could not bring myself to do it right away. Finally, I did! My regret was taking so long to decide, and in that time I know she suffered further. I have reconciled myself and am at peace. She was proud of me. One night reading a column I wrote to her called “Eyes of the Elderly” she said to me, “Tim, how did you learn to write like that, it is beautiful”. I choke up every time I think of that. See? The opposite of regret, though tainted with human imperfection, a memory built on thoughtful love.

I had another hard decision, I wanted to say goodbye to my dog, but didn’t! Teresa was with him, and I was a ways away. I was offered by the hospital to keep him alive until I got there, but remembering the suffering my delay caused my mother, I decided for him to be put to rest then so he would no longer suffer. This regret is hard, real hard, but knowing it was based on my love for my dog I am able to make peace with myself and have pure and fond memories of Blu boy. As I write this column, emotions that most people never see in me, are pouring out! I called out “Blu boy” forgetting for a moment he was gone. I miss him so! The way he would fall asleep sitting up every time I scratched his head. How he used to bury himself in my lap to get the most loves possible. I miss seeing four dogs come in, and now only three. I catch myself looking for him when I am going out on the porch. How gentle he would take a treat from my hand. I guess most of all, I miss my friend! He must have been suffering for a while based on what killed him, but did he let on? No! He always listened, well sort of, he was my ADHD dog lol. Always last out or the last in. Easily distracted by a gnat or some bothersome noise. With everything that was happening to him, did he cry, whine or let us know in anyway? No! He was a dog who loved us more than himself! Truly an amazing blessing all wrapped up in fur and cuteness. I could go on forever about my dog Blu, but I am going end this with the hope that dogs are also included in heaven, and that he will hear me read this at our family memorial and know how much our family loved him. Goodbye my  Blu boy!

My Blu Boy

A memorial by Tim Flanagan
My Blu by Tim Flanagan
Blu a column by Tim Flanagan
Columns by Tim Flanagan
Blu the dog I love
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