At night, when you look up at the sky,
since I shall be living on a star,
and since I shall be laughing on a star,
for you it will be as if all the stars are laughing.
You alone will have stars that can laugh!
And when you have got over your loss
(for we always do),
you’ll be happy to have known me.
You will always be my friend.
-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
I think we have come to that point here, after Hawk's quiet passing in the beginning of November. It doesn't mean that we don't still miss him at times, but now, we can reflect on our happy memories together and smile or laugh. No doubt this is what the big guy would prefer. He never could stand to see anyone upset. Today would have been his thirteenth birthday.
There's no denying it, losing a dog is one of the most painful things that many of us go through. Most dog lovers can attest to that fact. Still, I look back on the lifetime Hawk spent with us, and I wouldn't trade the pain of missing him for the many happy memories we shared. I think of all the hard work that went into bringing him home with us. I sure learned a lot of lessons about patience from that boy. We couldn't raise our voices about anything without upsetting him a great deal, even if we were happy or excited. Stopping him from doing things he shouldn't was a fine balance. Convincing him to move past his fears was, too. I am not a patient person by nature, but I learned to cultivate it with him.
I was certainly richly rewarded for it, too. Hawk didn't hold back in letting you know that he loved you or that he was happy with what he had. I still sometimes walk into the kitchen and am surprised that I don't feel him bumping twice against my hip. It was his way of letting me know he was there and happy to help with any tasting that might be required, or just in case I needed a fuzzy ear to rub. He was tall enough that I didn't have to bend down to reach him. As soon as your hand reached his body, a huge grin spread across his goofy face and his tail would gently wag. He just had a way of making you feel as if you really mattered to him.
As he got older, the brindle spots on his body began to show a lot of white. Mr. Taleteller joked that it was because he liked to be scratched in these spots and we were wearing the color off the poor boy. He certainly did love our attention. He left with a little piece of our hearts, but I believe he left us with a piece of his in return. We were truly blessed to share his life with him!