If Love Could Save You, You Would Have Lived Forever

12 years ago, Bracha came into my life as a happy, spunky, confident Bouvier puppy. We trained, loved, hiked, kayaked, paddle boarded, swam, and were the best of friends.

The bond with Bracha was amazing.

Dogs are unique companions in the animal world. We don’t call them “man’s best friend” for nothing; she was with me through the good times and the bad.

She loved to go backpacking with me. We would hike 10 miles in the backcountry, get caught in a thunderstorm, and quickly set up our tent, diving in to escape the storm. Once the bad weather passed, we were back outdoors enjoying our time together.

Bracha ran free and sniffed all the unique odors you can only find in the woods. She was free, but she never ventured far and would recall even after kicking up a deer that was lying in the tall grass. Bracha and I loved the outdoors.

Control is the key to letting your dog off lead in the middle of the forest. Without a solid recall, your dog could get lost or injured by a predatory animal.

Bracha had an intense motivation for food and treats, so training was easy. She quickly learned tricks such as speak, shake, spin, and play dead. She never turned down a snack and would always let me know me an hour before dinner time, “Daddy I’m ready to eat”.

Dogs have an internal clock and will not let you forget when it is time for dinner.

I went through a divorce during my time with Bracha, and she was there for me. It is amazing how easily dogs pick up on your emotions. People have asked me to train their dog to be an emotional support animal, but there is really no training to it. You just have to develop a strong bond with your dog and they will do it naturally.

I was very depressed during my divorce and Bracha would lay on me whenever I was struggling. She just knew. She was amazing and very comforting during that difficult time in my life.

In June, she began slowing down. I tried everything, but alas time was against us and her quality of life left much to be desired.

Once the difficult decision was made, I contacted Heaven at Home which is a pet hospice that provides compassionate in-home care for your pet. They provide at-home euthanasia which is the only way I will go in the future.

They come to your home where your dog is loved and is relaxed. The veterinarian that came was compassionate and was the best. I held Bracha close one last time in my arms as I let her go.

The one thing the vet said that stuck with me was that what I gave Bracha was a gift.

I cry as I write this. She was the best dog I have ever had.

During my time in the police K-9 division, when we retired one dog and got a new one, the rule was “do not compare dogs.” That is so difficult to do.

I have always had a dog. I grew up with dogs. Whether they were pets or working dogs, I have had a dog companion for most of my life.

However, a few months have passed now and I still do not have a dog. My bond with Bracha was such that no other dog can compare to her. She cannot be replaced. Someday I will have another companion in my life, but right now, I am just not ready.

What a gift we were given for those 12 years with Bracha. My heart still aches with the sadness that remains from saying goodbye.

Bracha is in heaven playing with the other dogs waiting for her master to join her.

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