As I write this my beloved Mack is sleeping. I brought him home yesterday and he is quickly slipping away from this earth. He has stopped eating, won't take his meds and has little energy. I know you've seen my Facebook posts about him in the recent days, so I wanted to share his story with you because he has a lot to do with Marissa.
Before Steve and I got married, we had said that we didn't want to have children. In 2001, (after circumstances I can't mention), I discovered that I had the "instinct" and wanted to have a child. After months of testing and years of trying we basically had given up on the option of having a child. We had dogs and that was all we needed. During this time, we had lost Zeus (Steve's German Shepherd) and Midnight (black Lab) had went to live with a family that had a farm for him to run around. We even got a Chihuahua (worst dog ever). They really were just dogs to me. I had a Golden Retriever, Amber, that died while I was in college and I swore then that I would never get attached to another dog, like I did her. I did pretty good until Mack.
In March 2004, one of my good friends notified me that her Shepherd, Breanna "Bre", was having babies. Steve and I discussed it and we decided that we would go ahead and get one of them when they born. I was there after Bre gave birth on April 1, 2004. I picked out Mack from day one. Each day we would go to see the puppies and each time my Mack would come and see me. Even though I had him picked out it was really up to Steve as Mack was a replacement for Zeus. The day we went and to see which one, here came Mack out of the litter and swiped at Steve's hand. There was no question that Mack was meant to be ours or mine. He was a mommy's boy from day one.
Mack lived in the house with us and never one time had an accident. Shortly, after bringing him home, we discovered that I was pregnant. Mack was with me the entire time. He would often lay his head on my stomach as I progressed in my pregnancy. Mack is a working dog and he clearly worked to protect his family. He was in the house when we brought Marissa home and it was only after he decided to chew her oxygen cords that he began to reside downstairs and outside. This really suited him fine and he continued to work just like he was meant to do.
We discovered shortly after brining Marissa home that Mack was very much in tune with her breathing issues. He would bark like we've never heard him before she had an breathing episode. My attendants that help with me with Marissa learned very quickly that they needed to pay attention to him as he was really able to prevent Marissa to stop breathing. Once Marissa began to walk he would walk with her and let him hold onto his back to maneuver the back yard. She'd fall, he'd help her up. Its just recently that he has stopped doing this. When times got tough for me, I'd run to him. He became a pillar for me while I prayed or cried. He'd always lick my tears and I knew that I could get up and go on.
We named Mack after my grandfather, George Mack Dashiell, who was one of the strongest men I know. It just seemed fitting to name him after my grandfather even through we didn't know his personality just yet. Mack is truly one of the most extraordinary dogs I've ever met. He's been a service and loyal companion for over the past ten years.
Today, Marissa blurted out that "Mack is going to heaven". He is. Bringing him home has been a painful experience. I am literally watching my buddy die. I was in no way prepared for this experience. I am for the most part and strong person, but watching Mack die is literally heart wrenching. I will be losing my best friend and my furry child. I know that Mack will be going to heaven (and if you have other thoughts, please keep them to yourself). We've processed it the best way we can with Marissa and have explained to her that he will now be a dog for Ainsley, who passed away in 2011.
If you have a dog, give them an extra squeeze. Dogs are here to teach us lessons. Lessons of service. Lessons of love. Lessons of forgiveness. Please learn the lessons that they teach us. Never take one day for granted with them, your child or your life. As I have learned this week, things can change instantly because we have no control over them. Only God is in control.
I love you Mackadamion. Now and always you will be in my heart.