How lucky am I to have had 12 plus years with my sweet golden retriever, River. Every day was a gift. He was my sunshine and will always hold a spot in my heart. Goodbyes are never easy with those you love, yet I am relieved he is no longer suffering.
Together, River and I explored parks and trails all over West Michigan, often before daylight. He loved snow as much as I do and I’ll miss our silly little snow games and so many antics we shared. Over the course of time, we endured skunk encounters, a roll in foul-smelling scat, sandburs in the fall and black muck in the springtime.
He came to live with me at 9 months old. I invited my daughters and grandchildren to visit so they could meet him. In honor of the occasion, I baked fresh apple crisp and had just taken it out of the oven. It was cooling on the back of my stove when I walked away for something. Minutes later I found River had managed to eat exactly half of the scorching hot dessert. He seemed to be smiling with pride. I was laughing about this with the mailman a short time later and low and behold, the mailman returned within the hour with a bag of apple turnovers from the bakery to save the day.
The quiet is deafening these days, but I’m thankful for the time we had.
I like to think he’s now frolicking with friends at the Rainbow Bridge. Rest in peace dear friend.