I don’t know how we can even begin saying bye to you, Doodle. You hated when we had to say bye. You’d jump on the chair and stare out the window and droop your ears and eyes so low that every goodbye left a guilt-streaked scar in all of us. So I’m not going to say goodbye because you would hate that. I’m going to tell you that you will always and forever be with us; every time we’re doing the dishes you’ll be there licking the excess food off of each plate; every time we play ping pong you’ll be there running away from us in the most epic game of chase as we hear the ball crunch in your mouth; every time we’re eating dinner you’ll be there sitting next to us ever so innocent-looking, casually pointing your nose down to the floor to give us a hint; every time we have to wake up in the morning you’ll be there as our alarm clock with a toy in your mouth, stomping on our heads while we’re trying to sleep; every time we’re laying in bed or on the couch you’ll be there sprawled across us like the lap dog you were, keeping us warm and making us never feel alone; every time people visit, a tail will be wagging with a toy in mouth as paws dance around our company’s feet. And when the times get tough, you’ll still be there to lick the tears away and give us a hug to always let us know that you’re doing everything you possibly can to make us happy. To say you were just a dog is the understatement of the century. You were family; you were our family. You brought this family together and you helped us keep going. I swear you knew each and every one of us better than we knew ourselves. We all annoyed each other and hurt each other at times, but you were the balance that helped us push forward. It was your friendly, tolerant, and lovable nature, always wanting to give love that effected us all and taught us to do the same. There’s a reason I can’t remember a time before you, and that’s because life wasn’t complete until you were there. You’re in every memory, Roxie, and will continue to stay in all of us for the rest of our lives. You are ingrained into each and every one of our hearts and minds. So this is not goodbye, Roxie. This is, I love you and and I always will. And when it’s our time to go, you’ll be waiting for us with a toy in your mouth, wagging your tail from side to side, welcoming us home. A mere thank you cannot express just how much you did for our family, but it’s all I can say for now. Thank you for the licks, the love, and the beautiful memories, Doodle girl. You will never be forgotten.

“Roxie” Katie Mandell