Snukis and Meškis
Snukis entered our life 11.5 years ago, not long after Laima and I got married. He, along with his brother Meškis, was our first attempt at family. Like a child, Snukis alternately charmed and amused us, bedeviled and befuddled us, and brought copious amounts of anger and joy.
He was not a perfect dog, nor always easy to live with. It was both his charm and weakness that he could not abide other dogs and small children. Only at the end of his life did he relax his guard, allowing our second-youngest even to approach him. Faults aside, we will miss him, for he still truly was a part of our family, and the first to leave.
As I hugged him for the last time this morning, I selfishly wept, angry with the betrayal of his body. I also sincerely regretted each instance of angry words, impatience, and yanks on the leash. Dogs, like children, can bring out the worst in us, while asking only for affection, safety, guidance, and understanding. While I was not always there for him, he remained, to the end, there for me.
Sleep peacefully, good friend.