“It came to me that every time I lose a dog, they take a piece of my heart with them, and every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.” ~Anonymous
One year ago today, I lost Fritz. I sound like a broken record when I talk about how much I love him and how important he was in my life. Not everyone will understand this, many people will say, “he was just a dog.” That’s OK. Nobody really has to understand it but me.
Today, Andy and I want to remember Fritz for the wonderful dog that he was. Though we are still processing how unfair everything was, how unfair it was that he was taken from us so young, and how we are still working through our anger over the whole situation, we know that Fritz did not want to leave us and we know that we loved him truly and fully while he was in our lives. I don’t know how anyone could have loved him more.
When we first picked Fritz up, he was so tiny it was amazing. We looked down at him in the car and decided he looked like a little Fritz.
He became the center of my world. We brought him everywhere with us. Instead of a pet, he was our son.
He was our first dog and he crawled his way into our hearts in no time.
Fritz was our son long before we decided not to have children. The amount of love I felt for him was enough to satisfy any of my mothering needs.
He taught me how deeply I could love.
The choices we made revolved around what would make Fritz happy. We brought him on vacations with us, to family dinners, to holiday celebrations.
Fritz didn’t really like kids (understatement), he didn’t like their laughter or when they ran around, or rode their bikes. He also hated crows. He hated the intro song from the TV show “Weeds.” He hated the intro to “Trailer Park Boys.” He didn’t like it when anyone ran on TV. He barked at animals on TV. He was a picky little dude.
He loved his friends and family.
Both of our families quickly learned how much Fritz meant to us.
Fritz took over the spot next to my dad in his chair in their living room.
Andy’s dad bought him his awesome antlers for Christmas and had the regular tradition of sitting with him on his lap after we ate dinner. Fritz would walk up to his chair and wait to be picked up so he could sit with him.
We took Fritz up north hunting with us.
We took him out in the woods and we went four-wheeling together (he rode with me).
We took him swimming, out on the boat, and tubing with us. I wish I had a picture of him riding on the tube with me! If I was in the water, he was worried about me. We’d put his lifejacket on, set him on top of another lifejacket, and take him swimming in the middle of the lake. Then we’d get onto a tube and take slow rides around the lake—he would crouch down on the tube beneath me.
He wasn’t much of a swimmer (he could, he just didn’t like it). He loved to play in shallow water, chasing rocks that we would throw in.
We took him shopping with us.
We took him on camping trips.
He could be found sleeping almost anywhere in the house.
I lost my best friend, my son, and the love of my life. I would like to say that it gets easier with time and maybe that’s true to some degree. But I really believe I am just better at managing the pain of losing him; it’s always there but I’ve learned to live with the constant ache.
Nothing will replace him and my love for him will never be matched. Sure, I love Theo but it is nowhere near the same. I lost my one true love in the world, the reason that I wanted to make the world a better place. I lost my heart.
i carry your heart with me( i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go, my dear, and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)i want
no world(for you are my world, my true)
and it is you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that is keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
I will always love him. Bug, bugger, boog, boogie, booger, bud, buddy, Fritz, Fritzopher, Silly puddy. My little dude. Thank you for showing me how deeply I could love. Thank you for showing me love in return. Thank you for the wonderful years. I am sorry we failed you. I am sorry you aren’t with us now. I’m sorry. I love you.
Rest in peace.
Fritz McLaughlin 7/7/2009-6/25/2015