THE LAST WORD

Two days ago our family dog Ryker was hit by a car and he died instantly.   I was not home at the time of the accident.  His death has caused me to look at life in a completely different way.

On Sunday night our family went for a walk.  It has been years since we have all  been on a walk together.    It wasn’t a perfect walk and things we’re said that were not perfect.  But we created a memory,  and it was our last memory  with Ryker.   Our last walk with Ryker will be a walk that we will always hold dear to our hearts ♥️.

Ryker came to our family as a free gift.  He was given out of love from Tyler’s in-laws.  Ryker was a dog that I never wanted, a dog that made me crazy A LOT.   But he was also a dog that I had learned to love on a level that is hard to explain.

Ryker loved to run.  Ryker loved to run with me.  It was probably his favorite thing to do.  However; most of the time when I took him, he would disobey and take off.  He’s almost died so many times that I can’t count.  He’s spent the night in the shelter more times than I like to admit, and he has caused me to question several times why I said we could have him in the first place?   My relationship with Ryker was like a a fast moving ship.  As long as he and I were on the ship moving in the same direction, we both were happy.  Ryker was so much like me, that I often wondered if I birthed him.

Ryker loved people, I love people.  Ryker loved to run, I love to run.  Ryker liked to eat, only when he needed it for energy. However; during his last few months of life, he was eating more and running less.  He was sad his last few months of life.  He was getting older  and he was not running as much and eating more.  Dogs are like people.  A body in motion stays in motion.  A body that lays in one place becomes stationary and will usually gain weight.

It’s amazing how much dogs are truly like us.   Most people do not feel good when  they sit around all day and eat too much.  The human body was meant to move and eat food to fuel the body.  Ryker was the happiest when he was eating healthy and running more.

The day before Ryker died our family had a little discussion whether we should take him on the walk.  Some of us agreed to take him, others did not want too.  The final verdict was decided by our newly returned missionary daughter and she decided in the affirmative.

Ryker is not a leash dog.  He hates leashes.  I don’t blame him.  I would hate to be on a leash too.  My oldest son Tyler took the task at hand and was in charge of the leash.  It was like watching a tug of war between a bull and a donkey.  But in the end the bull won and the donkey obeyed.  Ryker settled into his role and stayed on the leash the entire time.

Our family had a discussion about Ryker on the walk.  Some would call it a discussion, others would call it a debate, but to put it in layman’s term, it was a little bit of an argument.

In our family an argument consists of three people who are very head strong,  2 people who are peacemakers, one who remains completely quiet, and then me, who is the referee.  I hate being the referee.  I get put in the middle of things I don’t like, but in the end I usually make pretty good calls and I try to make sure everyone is ok.

As the referee, I have pondered over Ryker’s last walk.  What was he thinking?  Could he hear us talking about him?  Did he hear me stand up for him, or did he only hear the negetive things that I said about him?   Since dogs are like people, I believe he did hear what was said about him, and I bet it probably hurt his feelings.  I wonder if he went to bed that night feeling sad

If I could live that moment again.  Our family would not have argued.  We all would of chosen to say good things about Ryker, and he would of never died.  However; Ryker did die,  and we all are mourning his loss.

I learned that the words that come out of our mouths are pretty powerful.   They can build a generation or tear down an entire army.   I’ve always been taught my entire life.,  if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all?  Easier said than done, RIGHT?

To quote Jeffrey R. Holland, one of the apostles of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He states:  “There is a line from the Apocrypha which puts the seriousness of this issue better than it reads.  The stroke of the whip maketh marks in the flesh; but the stroke of the tongue breaketh the bones.”

I have learned that the last words I say to someone are the ones they are going to remember.  Our thoughts lead to our words,  and our words soon become our actions.  I guess to put it pretty mildly, the power of the word is life changing or life breaking.

I will miss Ryker.  I will miss so many things about  him.   However, I do  believe that I will see him again, and when I do I will give him the dog treat that he so rightfully earned the last time we ran together.

Author: lisahogge

I am mother of five, a grandmother of 2, a wife, a swim teacher, yoga teacher and friend to all. I love warm baths, hot yoga, mountain runs and I pretty much exist on diet coke. I love to be around people, travel and eat at fancy restaurants. However, my favorite thing to do is to just be with my family.

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