my letter this month is to tell you about our sweet dog payton. i hope someday you will be able to read this letter and remember what a special dog payton was to all of us. we said goodbye to payton last month as he crossed over the rainbow bridge where he is happy and healthy once again. it has taken me some time to be able to tell you this story as even today as i sit down to type this letter tears stroll down my cheeks. my heart still aches for payton – and will for some time. you boys have experienced death before with the loss of some of our chickens, and even a torortise, but those pets were only in our lives for such a short while. a few hours after payton’s death quinn asked where payton was, liam told him that payton had died and gone to heaven. quinn, you then respond with ‘who’s heaven?’ payton’s death has been a life experience about sickness, dying, God and heaven for you boys.
our journey with payton began almost 12 years ago. your daddy and i drove out to the suburbs of chicago to pick him up one cold january day. payton was a giant golden puff ball and had the sweetest honey nut cheerio breath. i remember your daddy rode in the back seat with him the entire way home. i told your daddy if it looked like payton was smiling to be careful as he was probably going to puke- sure enough, payton puked. poor guy never did like riding in the car much after that. payton was such a happy, sweet dog from the moment he was born- he lived his life to make us happy.
payton, like most goldens, loved to swim! he would jump into any body of water he could find. he was non stop! your daddy would take payton fishing with him and his friends where payton had open access to the lake. he would spend most of his time belly deep in the water or out exploring the woods. we would also take him to your grandma and grandpa’s house to swim – he would take a running start and jump into the pool. we couldn’t even let him out to pee without watching him as he would wonder over to the pool and often try and jump in.
you boys never knew life without payton. he was such a huge part of our family and our everyday. you boys loved to play with payton – whether it was throwing the ball, chasing him around the house or giving him treats. you loved that payton would shake, speak or even let you put the treat on his nose and wait for the ok to eat it. payton was amazing around each of you as a baby, he put up with way more than i would have. you each would climb into his food bowl when he was eating or grab his tail and pull. quinn, you loved to sit on payton and ride him. each and every time payton would just tolerate it, lick you in your face and wag his tail. when he was over it – he would retreat to his kennel and sometimes you would even follow him in there as well.
people often complimented us on how well we had trained payton. he was a typical golden and preferred to be with his people than to be outside or wonder off. if we were outside, he was out with us, when we went in, so did he. he loved us unconditionally – that is what made him happy.
on payton’s last day i could tell he wasn’t feeling good, he had no interest in eating or being in the kitchen with us – i found him upstairs by your daddy’s side of the bed. i immediatley grabbed my camera as i wanted to try and capture a few more moments with him. quinn followed me upstairs and immeditaley went to payton when he saw him. of course payton wagged his tail, he picked up his head and looked at me, i could tell in his eyes he was ready to say goodbye. his time with us had come to an end.
we said goodbye to an amazing dog that day, he deposited so much love, unconditional love, into our hearts that he will never be forgotten. a time will come when we have a new puppy in our lives and our heart will heal from the loss of payton. but i hope you will always be able to remember a small part of him forever!
‘A good dog never dies. He always stays. He walks besides you on crisp autumn days when frost is on the fields and winter’s drawing near. His head is within our hand in his old way.’
i love you with all my heart
please be sure to follow along and read sarah’s letter to her son.