My Best Friend

Dear Rufus McGillicottey Metzger,

In no way shape or form do I claim to be a religious man nor do I pretend to be a spiritual person in any way. If I were I am sure I could explain and understand these events better or at least be able to cope.  I do believe that somehow certain positive events are meant to happen but I have no explanation for the negative. Someway somehow the “stars aligned” or whatever happened but I shared the most important bond with you. I wish I could write better or formulate words to express the love I have for you as I am incapable of communicating how much you meant to me.

Gabe and I said Goodbye to Rufus today.

It’s common knowledge that I am not a proponent of change or long term commitments. Hell, I frown upon short term ones. After dating my girlfriend, Gabe, for 7 years I finally made a leap to proposing our engagement. When I was younger I made the usual mistakes that a adolescent male makes but finally got my life back on track. I grew into adulthood, enough to feel I was ready to bear the responsibility of caring for another living being. I had a stable residence, relationship, and financial situation which was still new to me. Gabe and I having both been raised in animal loving households felt that we were ready to share our love with a pet.

We had an unplanned meeting. We came to your temporary home to view others. You were never mentioned in my many phone calls prior to our visit. It was your plan to steal our attention. you were the last of your siblings and a month elder than the newborns. At no point did you allow us to make a decision, you chose us. You were an unreplicable engagement gift to Gabe.

They named you Smudge but we called you Rufus. Not for any reason other than the name fit your breed and sounded cool. Later finding out that the name Rufus has been known to be given to kings as well as saints and that is what you are to us, king of our household and the saint that devoted his life to us. An only better fitting name would have been simply “love”.

In the beginning we had our troubles. I was not knowledgable in how to communicate with you or maybe you just developed a bond with your mother faster. It was my fault but your unconditional love taught me patience. These early times have come to be my biggest life regret.

After suffering the loss of my mother at a such a young age I must of made a subconscious vow to abstain from close relationships. Showing pride in a lack of friendships. You successfully wedged your way into my hard headed mind. We shared our lives together, you never questioned me, you never judged me, and you never doubted me. Our times together were only positive. Fun. Relaxing. Times to forget that there was anything else in the world besides the two of us. No one could ever compete. We were so close that we knew what each other were thinking, we didn’t have to speak.

You consumed our lives. As people showed me a photo or two that they had of their children I would break out a photo library consisting of over a thousand photos of you. I am writing this in honor of you, but most importantly because I need to honor you. There is no greater debt that I could ever owe in this world than the one I owe to you.

I know I am supposed to focus on the years we enjoyed with each other but I am filled with regret of time lost between us. I cant help but to think about Sundays I spent away from you when we could have been together, or the nights that I spent a couple hours extra at work. I was excited to come home to you, I just took you for granted and chose to stay. Like you would be there forever.

We were away when you first showed signs of sickness. Unable to use go to the bathroom. You must have been in so much pain the week we were gone. You showed your unconditional love to us that we believed your symptoms were a condition of longing for our return. At no point did we think you could have a tumor at the young age of seven. We were traumatized. Life was put on hold. Vet appointments, hospital visits, Ultrasounds, and Cat Scans galore. The day that you and I spent 3 hours away at a cancer treatment center only to find out your biopsy revealed that you were Ok was a haze. We were only 5 minutes away from your first Chemo/Radiation treatment. We were both so excited, or perhaps that was the Arby’s you got on the way home and the celebratory Filet Mignon that we picked you up from the fancy restaurant. As I think back I feel you still knew. You were so strong that you protected us for over a month. The tests were wrong.

If only we started you treatment like we expected, perhaps things would be different.

Your mother and I suffered our first serious fight during this strenuous time. At no point have things even hinted this bad. I felt that my life was perfect just the four of us, and she wanted to add one more. So much that we considered parting ways as we did not share the same goals for the future. Did you understand what was going on? Did you realize that we would need each other more than ever to make it through your final decent. Did you make the ultimate sacrifice as final display of your unconditional love for us?

Last night you cried for the first time.

Your mother and I laid with you for the remainder of the night and into the early morning to try to ease your pain. We had an unselfish decision to make.

This morning we took our last walk together and I think we both know it was for me. You made it all the way to see the ducks one more time and enjoy one more romp on the playground swing set, although I had to carry you home. I hope you could feel my love wrapped around you. I wanted you to know I was there for you. I wanted you to feel safe. I needed you to feel loved.

They came to the house and you were so strong. You were not afraid, you jumped on the couch and sat on our laps while watching your favorite movie “Hotel for Dogs”.

I whispered to you.

You slipped away quietly with our arms around you.

Even once you had gone, We still held you.

Just like you taught me, I was there for you.

The years you pledged to me were the best, irreplaceable, years of my life. You have been my rock, my confidant, my friend, my most precious and adored partner. You have taught me many things, above all, unconditional love. I will never forget you. I will never stop loving you.

Things will never be the same and I will never be as happy. It is sad to know that it is all downhill from here until we hopefully meet again. Despite the way I hurt I know that I would of never felt this way if we never met. I would not have traded our time for anything.

I will be thanking you until my last breath, Rufus, Thank you.

Here are a few poems that represent the love shared from me to Rufus and the author of them to his companion.

With heavy hearts; and a tear in our eyes

after all these years; we must say goodbye

Please understand; we’ve done all we could

if there was anything we could do; you know we would

I’m sitting right here; gently rub your ears

while I talk to you softly; trying to hold back the tears

The memories you gave us; we’ll never forget

especially the ones; of the day we all met

One last hug; and one last kiss

you have no idea; how much you’ll be missed

To look into your eyes; this one last time

you tell me it’s ok; you know it’s your time

Close your eyes now; and go to sleep

we’ll pray to the Lord; you’re soul he’ll keep

Go in peace now; our good friend

we’ll stay right here with you; until the end

Dream of that special day and time

when we’ll meet at the Bridge; and all will be fine

We’ll run and play; side by side

with a soft warm feeling; deep down inside

Your memory will live on; in each one of us

you’ll always be number 1; to all of us

Have a safe journey; through the night

I promise when you awake; you’ll be in God’s light

So with heavy hearts; and tears in our eyes

just for now my friend; we say goodbye

-John Quealy

I came home from work; after a long hard day

but the house felt so empty; I couldn’t stay

So I grabbed my coat; and hopped in the car

then drove to the park; it wasn’t to far

I walked down the path; and spotted a bench

then it started to rain; guess who got drenched

I dried the bench; then sat down to rest

I looked up in the tree; and saw a bird’s nest

I watched two dogs; take a break for a drink

as my mind started wandering; I started to think

I thought about times; from back in the past

when the fun we had; would last and last

The kid’s would see us; as we walked in the park

and they’d come a runnin; as you let out a bark

With your friendly bark; and wagging tail

off you’d all go; play on the trails

You were so kind and gentle; never a pest

in everyone’s book; you were simply the best

Always there; for one in need

as you did your best; to do a good deed

I got up from the bench; and walked to my car

then drove back home; it wasn’t very far

I walked in the house; and pulled up a chair

then opened a window; to get some fresh air

I went to the kitchen; to get a drink

then sat in the chair; and began to think

My life has been blessed; since the day we met

to me you are one; very special pet

The Lord decided; to put us together

I’ll always be thankful; for ever and ever

You are my star; my guiding light

my eyes and ears; in the black of night

I look to the day; we’ll be together again

just me and my very; special friend

-John Quealy

I miss you so much; my four-legged friend

I ask myself each day; if the pain will ever end

Your loss is so hard; for one person to bear

because we were a team; an inseparable pair

You were by my side; when I got up each day

waiting so patiently; to go out and play

You were there each night; when I got home

waiting to go to the park; where you could roam

You always knew; if I was having a bad day

so you’d snuggle up close; and try to get me to play

If that didn’t work; you’d put your head in my lap

then make yourself comfortable; and take a nap

One way or another you; would brighten my day

like only you could; you had a special way

You gave me a lifetime; of memories to hold

through all the years ahead; till I’m gray and old

I promise I’ll see you; again one day

when we’ll be together again; to go run and play

Your loss is a cross; I will just have to bear

because you and I know; we’re an inseparable pair

-John Quealy

One day a woman’s husband died, and on that clear, cold morning, in the
warmth of their bedroom, the wife was struck with the pain of learning that
sometimes there isn’t “anymore”.
No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone
calls just to chat, no more “just one minute.”

Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away, never
to return before we can say good-bye, say “I love you.”

So while we have it, it’s best we love it, care for it, fix it when it’s
broken and heal it when it’s sick.

This is true for marriage…..And old cars… And children with bad report
cards, and dogs with bad hips, and aging parents and grandparents. We keep
them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.

Some things we keep — like a best friend who moved away or a sister-in-law
after divorce. There are just some things that make us happy, no matter

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