Sunday, April 1, 2012

I am finally ready

To write about Echo.

It has been 3 months and 7 days since he left my life.  I will never completely accept him being gone, but today for the first time I can write this.

Echo was a puppy that became mine because another person cancelled their booking.  Echo was my first pure-bred dog, my first puppy that was planned (well kind of), my first dog destined for agility.  I was barely 13-years old when Echo became part of my life.

This means that Echo went all the way through high school with me, wrote matric with me, went to university with me, moved out of my parental home with me, started my first job with me, met The Nerd with me, got engaged with me, got married with me...

Echo saw my hair every colour under the sun (yes at some stage I WAS blond), he was around for all the piercings and tattoos.  He was around for the break-ups, the make-ups and all the other stupid decisions.  He raised every single puppy and kitten that has entered my home until now.

Echo achieved many things and MANY MANY firsts with me.  My first dog that qualified into top grades, my first dogs that travelled to 'away shows' with me, my first dog to win QC's (champ tickets) with me, my first dog to become a champion.  Echo qualified for the SA Champs in both Dog Jumping and Agility many times.  Echo made multiple provincial teams.  Echo won the over-all prize at the May Extravaganza.  Echo won The Battle of the Giants.  Echo made the World Team and competed at the AWC.

I have so many Echo stories... like his first show (a major one at Rand Agricultural Show) where he was clear and fast until the second last obstacle... just to run off.... right to the top of the grand stand.... to go and beg some treats (biltong) from random strangers.  The time he latched himself onto the arm of a 'traffic light' beggar that dared stick his arm through my open car window.  He once ran into a thorn bush, his one eye completely pierced and he did not moan once.  How he always used to jump in my arms and on more than one occasion completely bowled me over onto my ass.  He was there the time I lost my pants while teaching a beginner agility class.

None of that actually matters.

The lessons Echo taught me.  The dedication, the commitment, the selflessness, the forgiveness, the understanding and the being there, that DOES matter.  Echo gave me every inch of his heart and soul.  Let's make no mistake, Echo was an annoying dog :) A demanding dog.  A quirky dog.  But not only did he touch my life, he touched many other people's lives in a significant way.  He was a character that you could not ignore, a presence that you could not miss.  Echo was the best at just being him... until the day he died.  He did everything I asked of him, but in his special way.

Echo had a good life and he made my life even better.

I hope I never forget the bad or the good I had with Echo.  I hope his lessons stay with me.  I hope his forgiving nature rubbed off on me.  I hope his understanding makes me understand better.  I hope Echo stays with me for the rest of his life.

I am very proud to say that Echo had a good life.

This picture was taken exactly one month before my amazing boy left my life!
I will always love him and I will always miss him, but I wouldn't exchange that for anything.

Enjoy your peace my boy!