A chat with the dogs a few days after my little girl Annie crossed the Rainbow Bridge

Buddy: “Hey Dad.”
Me: “Hey Buddy.”
Buddy: “You okay?”
Me: “Yeah.”
Buddy: “You sure?”
Me: “Yeah.”
Buddy: “You don’t look okay.”
Duchess: “He’s not okay.”
Me: “I’m fine.”
Buddy: “No you’re not. We’ve seen okay and fine and this isn’t it.”
Me: “What do you guys want?”
Buddy: “We want you to be okay. We want you to be fine.”
Duchess: “We want you to be happy.”
Me: “I am happy.”
Duchess: “No you’re not.”
[long pause] Duchess: “They’d want you to be happy.”
Me: “I don’t want to talk about it.”
Buddy: “Ever?”
Me: “Probably not.”
Buddy: “So you’re going to be like this forever?”
[long pause] Duchess: “They’d want you to be happy. Ru…”
Me: “Don’t say it.”
Duchess: “Ruger.”
Me: “Shut up.”
Buddy: “And Annie.”
Me: “You two shut up.”
Duchess: “Say it. Say their names.”
Me: “No.”
Buddy: “Please.”
Me: “No. Go away.”
Duchess: “That hurt.”
Me: “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…”
Buddy: “What did you mean?”
[long pause] Duchess whispers: “They want you to be happy, Dad. We all do.”
Me: “I am happy…sort of…sometimes.”
Buddy shakes his head: “Not really. Not anymore.”
Duchess: “We’re still here, Dad. They may be gone but we’re still here.”
Buddy: “Me and Duchess and Mumford, we’re still here.”
Me: “I love you guys, you know that.”
Duchess: “We know that and we love you too. That’s why we want you to be happy.”
Buddy: “Annie wants you to be happy.”
Me: “Shhhh…”
Buddy: “And Ruger wants you to be…”
Me: “Just…please don’t.” [tears] [long pause] Duchess: “Want to take us outside?”
Me: [nodding] “Sure.”
Duchess: “Can I ask you a favor?”
Me: “Sure, what is it?”
Duchess: “Can I see you happy before I um…you know.”
[painful sigh] Buddy: “We don’t have much time and nobody knows how much you have.”
Duchess: “Can we spend the rest of what we have left being happy?”
Me: “I’m sorry.”
Duchess: “We know. So can we do that? Want to be happy with us?”
[long pause] Me: [nodding] [whispers] “I’ll try.”
Duchess: “Cool. I really do have to go potty though.”
Mumford: “Can I go?”
Buddy: “Whoa. Yeah…but did you…”
Mumford: “Already go on the piddle pad? Yep.”
Duchess: “You can come with us. Dad’s going to be happy.”
Mumford: “No way!”
Duchess: “He promised. You did promise, didn’t you Dad?”
Me: “I promise.”
Buddy: “We’ll help but you have to…”
Duchess: “Can we talk about this outside? I really have to go.”
Me: “Let’s go.”
Buddy: “Are you going to pee with us?”
Me: “Is Mom watching?”
Duchess: “She watches us pee.”
Me: “It’s not the same.”
Buddy: “C’mon, pee with us.”
Me: “I’d better not.”
Duchess: “Oh yeah, we want Mom to be happy too.”
Mumford: “I’ll bet he does.”
Buddy: [whispers] “Do it.”


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About the Author

Joyce Ellis is the CEO and Caretaker of WarmFuzzy's Animal Shelter & Sanctuary. She was born with the vision, the Energizer Bunny who keeps going and going. She is Fuzzy1 of all WarmFuzzy's.

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