Dear Shiner…

I wrote this letter to our first dog, Shiner, after feeling a lot of guilt from his passing. I used the Dialogue journaling tool to complete the sequence with a letter back from him. Though it may sound, strange, it actually brough me a lot of closure and peace. I hope you find the same results!
April 7, 2008
Dear Shiner,
Since you have left us there have been many things I’ve wanted to tell you. The first thing I would say is I’m sorry. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you when you took your last breath, comforting you and easing your pain. I’m sorry I left you tied to your chain all of the time and that when you died you were tied up instead of running free with the horses (something that always scared me). I’m sorry that I didn’t do more to help you through your many illnesses and sickness. I wish I could’ve taken you to the vet more because there may have been something more they could’ve done for you to make you live longer. I’m sorry, most of all, that I will not have you to greet me every day when I walk into my new, quiet home. I once wrote that “real love is seeing your dog thump his tail against the floor for you even when he’s too tired to get up. ” I will miss that more than you will ever know and I wish I could show you how much love I had and still have for you in my heart.
Here is his response:
Dear Priscilla Mommy,
It’s Shiner here. I know, I’m a dog, and I’m not supposed to talk, but if I could, this is what I would tell you (and daddy). First of all, you saved my life. You rescued me when I was about to die of starvation and infection. Something called you to drive three hours away, without telling your husband, to pick me up and save me. You drove me home by yourself, not knowing if I was going to eat you alive, even with your fear of dogs. You trusted that I would be a good boy without knowing anything about me except I was black, and really skinny. Something called you to save me, and you did. You nursed me back to health and gave me a loving and stable home. You were there for me when I needed you. I loved going for walks near the horses, playing in the pond and going to the park. I loved the moments when I broke free and got to run with the horses but now I can run with them all the time. They will always watch over me and I will always watch over you. I know how much you loved me and how you made the last two years of my long life the best years ever.
We love you, Shiner!
(Click here to read a letter to Henry.)

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