Written by Tank’s Mom:


Rescue is my world now, and has been for many years.  The highs and lows don’t ever seem to balance out, they are each remarkable in themselves.  Yet, each promotes growth and lights the internal fire of need to do more, to do better and to do it faster.  You learn to take the losses with the wins, always placing far more importance on the wins, for that is what fuels your spirit.

But my recent loss has me spinning.  I struggle to find a way to pay tribute to my little man, Tank, who because of a multitude of illnesses, is no longer with us.  I feel so deeply, so intensely, that words don’t do justice, couldn’t possibly even attempt to portray what I am feeling in my heart.  It is broken and hurting and I am lost without him.

But then a smile comes over my face and I realize that I have so much beauty in my life because of him.  Tank came into our lives, into our home, and became a part of our family just over two years ago.  With a divine intent to challenge us to grow, to be better and do better, to love harder and to accept with the beauty and silence he embodied, he became ours.

And as flowers bloom in the spring after a gloomy winter, my spirit finds small rays of light that allow the beauty and grace of my Tank to take over.  I am reminded, through the words Tank “wrote” to our good friend at Thanksgiving, that I want to embrace everything he is, for he is remarkable:

“I have lots to be thankful for; I am a loved boy who has many people believing in me, those people give me strength; I am a faithful being and am grateful for every moment I have, I live each one to its fullest; I am patient and accept what is given to me with the knowledge that even in hard times, I can, and do, find happiness in the simplest of things; I am a teacher and an example to those who have lost hope that there will always be sunshine and rainbows after every storm and that dancing in the rain is healing. “

My little man, this dog of such greatness, causes me to smile and allows me to celebrate the many facets of his being; for they compliment me, challenge me in ways that demand my growth, and show me that patience and belief in times of hardship are the only things that will bring peace during tribulation.

And that we aren’t always given the answers, but we must have faith in accepting what we are given with grace, knowledge and with the deepest strength we can find.  We must never give up, never stop fighting and never stop believing.

Everything Tank did, he did with everything he had in him with the passion of a true star.  A friend recently said, “You can’t do anything with passion if you are unable to find joy in it.”   Tank found joy in everything.

He played hard, he slept hard, he snored hard, he drank hard, he tugged hard, he dug hard, he rolled hard, he barked hard and mighty, and even made stoic attempts at howling.  When Tank had a point to make, he made it, loud and clear.  No one thing was subsequent to another.  He took what he was given and ran with it, never stopping, never complaining, never giving up and never, ever asking questions.  Through his chronic illnesses, and all the treatment involved, he held his head up high and proud.

That is what I miss; having his brave, knowing, happy, accepting presence in my life to balance me, to make me a better person.  He was a lifeline of mine, a place I went to for laughter (Oh, how he could make me laugh!).  A place I went to for answers.  The more he taught me, the more whole I became.  He inspired me and I will do my best to keep that inspiration at the forefront of everything I do.

I didn’t know over two years ago when we brought this little brown dog to live with us that he would change our lives, the dynamic of our home, help us heal and grow in ways we have yet to uncover.  But I do now and I am grateful.

Last Friday afternoon, in the comfort of his bed, surrounded by his Daddy, I and all of his favorite things, Tank left this world to be with the others we love in Heaven.  I believe it is a place of perfection and beauty, of peace and wonder.  I know that Tank is there among friends, he isn’t alone.  I also know that I will see him again, such knowledge brings me comfort.

And for one last precious moment, I was able to hold my little man in my arms and sing his song to him like I did every day before, “I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck. A hug around the neck and a bushel and a peck, that is how much I love you.”

Yes, my sweet boy, that is how much Momma loves you.  A bushel and a peck, a hug around the neck and so, so much more.See More