Sully came to the Bridge after being diagnosed with dementia at the age of 13. His doctor suspected it before the more severe symptoms appeared. .As the disease progressed Sully became incontinent both in the house and in the bed, he got lost in the yard, stopped during walks to bark at nothing and paced around the house.
His Momma Lisa knew that she would have to ease Sully’s pain and guide him to the Bridge where he would regain his faculties but before that since she was on vacation until the middle of August, she decided to devote her time to her beloved boy, and she created the Summer of Sully.
She and Sully sat down and made a bucket list of all the things he loved to do and then, one by one; they did them together. Last week they put the final checkmarks on their list. They went to the drive in together, they went to see Emily, who dog sat for him, and she made Sully a cheeseburger which he loved. Next was a trip to their friends Nicole who made him chicken. On the way home Sully and mom shared an ice cream.
Momma Lisa picked the perfect activities to undertake. It is the small things, a fun trip, visiting family, sharing food, that we angels miss the most when we arrive at the Bridge. It is the little moments that we remember, and Sully’s mom filled his last days with lots of small moments.
Their last trip was to the vet. That is where Mamma Lisa checked one more box and gave Sully his freedom to be with his friends at the Bridge, to get everything back he had lost, to be that young, playful boy she had once known. The gift of releasing the pain is beautiful, but sadly the pain rebounds, and lodges in our parent's heart, where it never meters out.
When a dog who had dementia arrives at the Bridge it takes him a few moments to adjust. All the memories that Sully could not maintain when the disease took hold came rushing back to him, and a wave of memories momentarily left him staggered.
I gave Sully time to recover. At first, he was happy as he remembered everything, and then sad when he realized the person who had accompanied him in all those great memories would not be able to kiss him or give him ear rubs for a long time. “I am sorry I couldn’t remember,” he said.
I told him his mom understood and she remembered those last days enough for both of them. I promised to teach him how to visit his mom, to look after her and care for her the way she had done him. He smiled and said he couldn’t wait.
Then I whistled, and all Sully’s friends came running, covering him with a million hugs and kisses. One of an angel's sacred duties is never let a friend be sad, and I can tell his mom that Sully is a happy dog, surrounded by friends who vow to keep him that way. Sully promises to visit soon, and, if Momma Lisa awakens one morning with her heart a little less heavy, she will know he was with her in her dreams.
And he remembers and feels blessed for every beautiful thing she did for him.
No matter what happens no dog forget a mom’s lover.