the Captain

the CaptainIt’s hard to watch them get old, but it’s even harder to say goodbye. Yesterday, we made the heartbreaking decision to let Taz go. Over the last year he experienced vision and hearing loss, his steps became slower, he was a little more grumpy, and slept longer and deeper, but when it became apparent that he could no longer even sit without pain, we knew what we had to do. The day I picked him up from his foster family, he insisted on sitting on my lap during the car ride home, and just like that day – he took his last breath, sitting on my lap surrounded by love. We held him, and told him how much he meant to us, how much we loved him, and how it wouldn’t be the same without him. He was with us for 11 of his 14+ years. We all shared our favorite memories of Taz, last night, and there are a lot of them, but I think everyone’s favorite is how he got the nickname, the Captain. For a few years, when Jon and Jared were teenagers, we had a boat. We would get off of work and head out for an evening on the river. In the no-wake zones, Taz would stand proudly on the bow of the boat, head held high. Other boaters would smile, laugh and wave at him, and he loved every minute of it. If you knew Taz, you knew he believed he was special. We are convinced he didn’t know he was a dog. Although we’ve always said that Taz would have loved being an only dog, and wasn’t super happy each time we added to our family, he always stepped up to show Ellie, then Charlie, then Lena how to be a house dog. Over the past few months, he was particularly hard on Charlie. I think he knew his time was coming to an end, and that he needed Charlie to be ready to take over for him.
We will miss you, Captain. Jared said it best, when he said you weren’t just our dog, you were everybody’s dog. Everyone who met you, loved you. You really were just as special as you thought you were.