Late last night, (April 3, 2016), I lost one of the best friends I ever had. We got Ranger from Beagle Rescue 10 years ago. He was a hunting dog with a bad nose and his previous owners had abused him severely from what we learned. He was so shell-shocked that he would lose control of his bodily functions anytime a male got near him or he heard a loud noise. After a few months in our home Ranger was still so frightened of me that he would not let me get near him. We decided we might need to return him because he was still so distraught. Fortunately, we decided to get another beagle puppy as a replacement before the decision was final.
The breeder had 4 puppies remaining in the litter and kept trying to get us to look at a couple very frisky ones. I knew better, so I sat down and just watched. The frisky ones barked and frolicked with my wife and kids while a quiet little guy walked up to me slowly. He sat in my lap and licked my arm. He was the one and we named him Lucky.
When we got home with Lucky that evening he romped and played in my lap, licking my face. Ranger sat sullenly, he always had, watching from the corner. Suddenly, after seeing the puppy playing in my lap for a few minutes, Ranger realized that I might be safe and not harm him. He slowly crept across the floor and crawled gingerly into my lap for the first time. He looked up at me with the cutest droopy beagle eyes you had ever seen. I smiled and laughed at him as he kept looking into my eyes. He came closer and snuggled with me for the first time ever. After that moment Ranger always knew he had safety whenever I was around. I was his protector and he knew it. Ranger was a very quiet but happy guy from then on. He loved nothing more than sit next to me while we watched TV together.
Last night I held Ranger for the last time and said goodbye as the Doctor administered shots that would free him from his pain and suffering. I came to realize today that I probably needed Ranger as much as he needed me. My soul aches to hold him again.