In Memory of Ranger

Dearest Ranger,

Who could have imagined that you would be gone? I remember the first time I saw you behind the fence at the shelter with that stuffed bear hanging from your mouth. It was love at first sight for Steven and Goldie. I wasn’t so sure. But then you came home with us and worked your magic on me. Ever patient, gentle and strong, you knew how much we needed you.

At night you always made sure you slept where you could keep an eye on all of us, and every entry. You made us feel so safe. When the day was hard and cruel, we all had you to snuggle up to.

There are so many things you did that became part of our family history. You would chase the ball, stick, pine cone, teensy nub, whatever, for hours until you collapsed, laughing. You and Daddy, out in the van, cruising for babes. I will never forget how you had to have a companion, and your bear, when you went out at night in the dark.

I loved how you took such good care of your cats and kept them in line. When the house burned down, you went back inside and carried them out, making sure they stayed under the apple tree, far away from the fire. When they got out of the house, all we had to do was open the door. You chased them back into the house just like sheep.

At 14 (who knew for sure how old you were), you finally succumbed to the cancer we never knew you had. Pumpkin and Sooshi knew. They had begun to sit and watch you sleep and bathe you throughout the day. They are both very unsettled now you are gone.

I have to wash my own dishes now. No more Ranger on kitchen duty. I think that’s when I miss you most. I will have to settle for the good memories and all the wonderful lessons you taught me.

Ranger’s Rules
1. Every day is Christmas
2. Every grocery bag is full of presents
3. All presents belong to Ranger
4. Everyone needs help opening their presents
5. Never go out in the dark without your stuffie
6. Squirrels are evil
7. Approach rabbits with caution
8. Always assume everyone is your friend
9. If they ring the doorbell, they don?t belong here
10. Always ask for permission to enter the bed
11. Always take up most of the bed, and sleep sideways
12. Never share your nachos
13. Never mess in your own yard
14. Always make yourself available for kitchen duty
15. If the cats are bad, snot on their little bellies
16. Suitcase = lonely
17. Fire is bad
18. The ball is all

I will always cherish you,