Goodbye My Saxon-Love

It’s time now. Our hearts are breaking, but we know it’s time. 

Tomorrow morning (Thursday) we will say our final goodbyes to our Saxon-love. Many of our kids, and all of our grandkids, have no memory of life without his sturdy, loving presence at their side. He patiently eased his way into the horribly broken hearts of each of our children as they came home to us from places of so much trauma (almost always terrified of this big furry lion of a dog). One by one, they fell deeply in love with him, and he silently and joyfully pledged to each new child a lifetime of unwavering devotion and protection. He became so protective that we’ve heard multiple people tell us, after jumping out of their skin, that they have never, ever before heard such a powerful and threatening bark come out of a golden retriever. We knew he would never let anyone hurt our kids and would do everything in his power to keep them safe. 

The day baby Saxon came into our lives

But with our babies . . . oh, this sweet boy was as gentle as a lamb and kept them close in his care. His children used him for a pillow while watching TV or listening to our evening reading, as a soft place to let their tears fall when sad, and as a patient when they pretended to be doctors. Our grandchildren, whom he equally accepted as his own, used him as an aid in learning to stand or walk, climbed all over him like a jungle gym, hugged him regularly with all their hearts. Nothing made him happier. Except maybe his trips to Hocking Hills with Scott and me when we were able to take our occasional getaways there. He was always so peaceful and filled with joy during those times with us. Maybe he, like we, occasionally needed a little rest from the tremendous demands on his time and devotion here with so many to watch over — in spite of the fact that he dearly loved his role in life. 

During Scott’s and my last trip to Hocking Hills in 2019, it rained heavily at the end. I woke up very early that morning, and Saxon and I slipped out for one last walk in the rainy woods together. I felt pretty certain that it would be his last time there, and I drank in every second of that early morning walk with him. I’ll never forget it. And as it turns out, I was right. Our loving boy is tired. He has given his heart so fully to all of us during his twelve years here. It’s time now to let him rest. 

Oh, sweet Saxon, we can never thank you for all that you have been to us. You could be such a stinker, especially when it came to trying to steal food, even to the point of robbing ripe tomatoes from our garden. You never ate the green ones, but waited until they were perfectly ripe, almost always on the day we had planned to pick them ourselves, in fact. But when we went to get them, they were gone. We blamed the wild rabbits until we discovered it was you. I will miss the sound of your paws moving through the house and beside my bed during the night. I will miss seeing you sprawled on the floor, surrounded by your children when we are reading or watching a movie as a family at night. You have become part of the very air itself here, and as I type this post and let the tears fall, I don’t want to face the emptiness ahead. I’m so sorry that you were plagued with so much illness throughout your lifetime, due to your severe allergies. We did our best with all those years of injections and medications to keep you comfortable, but I know there were times when you were miserable. Yet, even then, you just walked through each day, doing your job as our dog, loving everyone as fully as ever. You always seemed to be so happy in spite of the pain. We love you with all our hearts, and we always will. 

Today we will all focus on giving Saxon one last happy day with us, showering him with love, and with all the yummy treats he always wanted, but could never have because of his allergies. Right now, in this moment, I don’t want to think about tomorrow when I will sit with him on the floor of our veterinarian’s office, holding him until he stops breathing. I always hate that moment, but it’s an honor, too, to hold him as he drifts away, smelling our hands and knowing how much we love him up to that last moment. Oh, my heart.

So this post in in memory of our Saxon and all of the dogs who have loved the Rosenow family through the years before passing on to a place of rest. And to all dogs who do this every single day for their own families.

God outdid himself when he created dogs, and we lose a little piece of our hearts every time we say our final goodbyes to one of them. 

Rest deeply, our precious Saxon boy. You have certainly earned it.

I love this dog with all my heart
One of my favorite pictures of him
Good sport and up for whatever the kids wanted him to do
Our beautiful, noble boy – getting so tired
This past Fourth of July – he was mesmerized by the fireworks. As I look back at pictures from this past year, I can see how quiet and peaceful he had become — as if preparing himself for these goodbyes.
Our last walk together in Hocking Hills
He was already getting so tired even last year during this trip
This is how he spends most of his time now; his fatigue is deep although his heart remains fully and truly devoted to all of us.
His precious face in my bed this morning tells me that he is ready for this final journey
Goodbye, my love. I will hold you in my heart forever.

6 thoughts on “Goodbye My Saxon-Love

  1. I have always been in awe how this special dog relates to all of the children. I feel your pain and am sending you love and hugs. Saxon, faithful servant, go in peace knowing that you are so loved by so many special people.

    • Thank you, so much, Tricia. Is your sweet one still with you? Nolan cried this evening and said that one of the things that made him saddest was that if, by some wild chance, more kids came home to us, Saxon wouldn’t be here to greet them the way he greeted him (Nolan) and took care of him when he came home to us in 2015. This choked me up, possibly more than anything else anyone has said. I know that are are finished adopting, but there will be more grandchildren, and he won’t be here for them. But for Nolan to think of that, recognizing what a key role Saxon played in his homecoming touched me in so many ways.

  2. What a beautiful tribute to this beautiful boy! I have felt your pain and will again. Our pups are also our babies and saying goodbye is such heartache. I loved seeing those pictures and i want you to know that if I could hug you and feed you chocolate to help ease a little of the pain, i would be there. But unfortunately, all the hugs and chocolate won’t take it away. Shed those tears and rejoice in the time you had. ❤️❤️

  3. Kathy, I am sooooo sorry I didn’t reply to your sweet message of love and precious memories earlier, 😢honey but we’ve been gone just about all day and were really late getting home and then getting supper- and then I just needed some just sitting down quiet time and so, here I am soooooo late 😢 getting your precious message and pictures! Darling, my heart breaks with you all during this oh sooooo sad time,😢 but oh how I love your beautiful message and pictures of sweet Saxon 😘 and oh darling, how well I remember walking that path with all our precious 4 legged fellows too, as y’all were growing up, as well as with our dogs during the years I was growing up !!! And thank you for sharing all the precious memories and pictures, darling! Know and tell all the family that our love and prayers are WITH YOU ALL!! I am having problems with my cell phone and did not get all your messages this morning till I was waiting in the dr. office for Rachel -but you all have been in my prayers all day, darling. Give my love and hugs to everyone!!! Love you all sooooo much!!!

    On Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 9:02 AM Owning My Nothingness wrote:

    > kmrosenow posted: ” It’s time now. Our hearts are breaking, but we know > it’s time. Tomorrow morning (Thursday) we will say our final goodbyes to > our Saxon-love. Many of our kids, and all of our grandkids, have no memory > of life without his sturdy, loving presence at their s” >

  4. Pingback: Where Love Learns Its Lessons

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