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Time, stand still for just a little while… I need to feel his head rest on my leg just once more, run my fingers over the silky soft ear. Time, stand still for just a little while to let me see once more the love looking back at me out of those eyes, the head tilted with concentration to catch my every word. Let me just once more feel the pressure of his massive body as he leans against me, tipping his head back to smile at me, his eyes bottomless pools of love. I want to hear his howl of greeting, reserved for a chosen few, see one more time the bouncing, twirling dance of love that he has been incapable of performing for so long now but that he tries to do anyway in spite of the pain and broken body. Let me see one more time the way his sisters greet him, how these fierce guardians fawn about their beloved favorite like small puppies. Let me see just once more the gentleness and patience with which he interacts with his small speckled brother, he who was once dog reactive. Once more let me see how he takes cookies from the hands of a 14 month old toddler, mouth so gentle that he will not close his teeth together until he is sure there are no human fingers in the way, he who was once impossibly mouthy, so boisterous he was a hazard, leaving bruises, scratches and slobber in his wake. There are heart dogs and then there are dogs who take you on such a journey that you don’t actually know your heart anymore nor do you know how far you have journeyed until you look back. Along the way, amidst all the training challenges, the total lack of impulse control, the severe resource guarding, the major health issues and innumerable surgeries, the multiple venomous snakebites, the dog reactivity, yes, even a period of time when I was both afraid of him and equally afraid I would fail him, I found myself changed. You no longer recognize yourself because along that difficult journey you’ve learned to see with different eyes, learned to hear with different ears, learned to communicate with different words, for the love of a dog who was sent to teach you about languages that only love can teach… This dog has truly changed me and I cannot imagine my life without him. Today I gave back the only thing I have to offer him, rest from the pain and broken body that housed the biggest heart I have ever known in a dog. Rest, precious Tyro. I will forever be thankful for the incredible gift you have been and you will live forever in a heart that is better for having known you. Time, stand still for just a little while, I so desperately want to hug him one more time…

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