A Tribute Goodbye to My Wonderful Kiddo: Skye

Dear Skye,

On February 7th, 2017, I, with the help of your three uncles – Jake, Tucker and Evan – adopted you into my family. You were the first dog that I have ever adopted, and there was something about you that pulled me towards you; literally as you grasped onto my sleeve and wouldn’t let go the day before. Everyone suggested Pitties are dangerous and never can be a best friend, but I never believe that bullshit. There you were, sitting in the kennel that day just staring at me, quiet as ever, wishing to play with Jake and I. We took you outside and you were wagging your tail like crazy. We attempted to throw you a toy, but all you wanted to do is be alongside Jake and I, tugging on us. We had to leave that afternoon, but even that night it was a quick unanimous decision that we would adopt you the next morning on the 7th. I remember your spontaneous zoomies and goofy personality you blessed us with when we adopted you like it was yesterday.

Skye, you gave a senior struggling with the aftermath of a severe lung disease a newfound happiness for life as my college career was coming to an end. We showed you what the college life was like and everyone loved your gentle kindness, greeting everyone who walked in by jumping up on them and licking them like crazy. From cuddling with toys longer than you to sleeping in weird positions with us, you were always the most happy and energetic one in the apartment giving us life day in and day out. Always seeking an adventure, we enjoyed your compassion for always wanting to be active and out and about. When we took you for a hike, we realized how much you enjoyed the freedom of nature and being able to climb with us. Then your snoring would commence, like always, when you grew tired into the night. Waking up to you almost every morning, since Jake and I would split nights, was something I took for granted during college. Having your warm body as you cuddled up on me was a good feeling and a pleasure to know you were always there. Now, that feeling is gone and the bed where you laid feels empty.

You watched me grow up and saw me graduate, where you got to meet the rest of your family, your uncle, grandparents and extended family. You were always the center of attention as you were able to spend your last with days with us brothers that bonded so tightly over the year. Once I graduated, you joined me on a new chapter in our lives as we relocated to Raleigh where we had to adapt to being on our own. I know it wasn’t as easy for you to be cooped up all day while I had to be an adult and work all day, but I know you were free to roam around in the apartment even though you always elected to sleep on the same exact spot on the couch every day. We lived on a lake, and I know you enjoyed the beautiful view of it every day and every night. You began to run with me as well as you knew I enjoyed it, but you wanted to be involved with me instead of watching from that window spot that you’d stare at me when I left the apartment. God, I remember being so excited to come home every day to your beautiful face somehow knowing my car door slammed and I was walking up on our apartment, staring at me through that window.

Then, your struggles began to become harder on you and we began training and medical options to help soothe your past. I wanted you to be able to escape your past so you could share your compassion to everyone, including animals. You worked so hard with me, Jake and the trainer. You were very nervous, but always a good girl willing to attempt at what we were throwing your way. We enjoyed our final summer with Jake and went on various adventures to savor the moments we could, then it would be down to us two. I became busy once the end of summer into fall arrived and I know that became even harder for you only seeing me for a few hours at a time. Trust me, it pained me as much as it pained you being away from you as much as I was. You were my rock through it all, and you helped me get through it all. Finally, you saw me grow once more as we relocated to our current residency where you thrived, until last month.

We moved to Greensboro together where two weeks later you would enjoy your first snow day and I swear that was the happiest I have ever seen you as your zoomies were going crazy while you flew everywhere in the snow. Those videos and pictures are held tightly on my phone and I still look at them to this day. I won’t forget the moment I fell on my butt in the snow and as you were sprinting, you stopped and redirected yourself just to make sure your daddy was ok. At that moment, I learned I had finally earned your full trust after your corrupted past kept you from ever fully allowing the amount of love I gave you to shine through.

You had your exact spots on the bed, in the apartment and even outside that I had grown accustomed to – areas that I don’t allow your younger sister to go to because all I can see is your lovely and glowing personality there. It is also almost impossible for me to go to those areas, even after a month later. You were my whole life, you were my child, and I gave my all to you. You were doing so well as we continued to grow up together, and I began to become a better person myself. We did it all together, from traveling for vacation, to running, and to adventuring to new places. Greensboro had become your home where you felt comfortable. But, your past began to return to you and began to shroud you in a darkness that broke my heart to see.

Your beautiful soul was compromised, and your mental health was declining to a state that I wish I never saw and wish I could have fixed. Skye, I’m sorry I couldn’t do more for you as it even pains me and makes me cry to write this. I wanted to grow old with you, for you to teach new dog siblings the way, and to hopefully be the protector of my future kids. I wish I got to spend more time with you Skye Skye. You passed away on Januray 12th, 2019, and my world was shattered. Indescribable pain. Anger at myself. Destructed heart. Lost in faith and hope. Screaming in sheer guilt. Darkening sadness. I felt it all for you. I felt you join my heart and attempted to mend it back together, but to be honest Skye, I don’t know if I can ever recover from this. My Skye Skye, if you can read this, no one can ever replace you and I will always have your ashes kept close to me. I remember your final days and the final night we spent together, just you and I alone in the world. On the trip to your last place of rest, you just rested your head on the cup holder in peace, not understanding what was forthcoming. And now, the image of your last moments, the pain and tears being shed, are forever engraved in my brain as it flashes through my head every day.

I will never forget you, those moments, and the life we shared together. You were the piece in my life that held me up through the struggles. You showed me a compassion no one else could. You remained loyal and you stuck by my side even when you had your bad days too. I learned I had to let go of all the wrong things you did, because at the end of the day, I know you didn’t mean it. I still see images of you in my apartment. I still open my apartment door, waiting to see you jump up on me. I still wait to wake up in the morning, hoping you are next to me in the same exact spot as always. But you aren’t anymore, and I am sorry. I am so sorry, please forgive me and I know I won’t forgive myself. I love you, always will, and I hope you are in doggy heaven where God is taking care of you now. Pain free and ridden of the darkness that shrouded your life, looking down on me as I make my determinations and life for you. I will never give up for you, you are what motivates me to become better.

Even though this song may mean other things, I think it is fitting for us and what transcended:

“Then only for a minute
I want to change my mind
‘Cause this just don’t feel right to me
I want to raise your spirits
I want to see you smile but
Know that means I’ll have to leave

Know that means I’ll have to leave
Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been thinking
I want you to be happier, I want you to be happier”

An impossible decision was made and I hope it was the best outcome for you my kiddo. I look at our pictures together every day, and I take a moment to speak to you at your ashes. I still say goodnight to you every night, and I hope you are doing the same. I hope you are doing well my Skye Skye.

Rest in peace my kiddo, I’ll always love you. You are my dog.

Love,

Dad

**I urge you all to give pitties a chance and to realize they are dogs too that want to be loved. Please rescue animals and give them a home they deserve. I will begin to donate to local animal shelters and Pit Bull support organizations, I hope you will do the same.

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