A Box of Love: Goodbye, Ratty

Published 11:13 am Friday, April 28, 2023

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A box of loveEcclesiastes 3:1-2 says “to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”

Ratty has been a part of my family for 18 years, my daughter and son-in-law adopted him when he was two. For her, it was love at first sight and the beginning of a beautiful relationship. They went everywhere together and when they were not together, she couldn’t wait to get home to him.

Ratty is a chihuahua, and as my daughter likes to say, “the love of her life!” He has been there to see her through the worst and best times of her life. He’s been there for the laughter and would get excited like he was joining in, and he’s been there for the tears and would lay his head on her to provide comfort.

He was fiercely protective of her and although small, he had a big bark. If she looked at him and said, “what’s that noise?” he would take off running to the door barking and looking out the window because he was protecting the house. And when she let him outside to use the bathroom, he would walk the entire perimeter of the house to let folks know that he was on the job.

Everyone knew that Ratty was the protector of the Hale house which is why he was both surprised and extremely annoyed a few years ago when a friend came to visit and bought a much bigger dog with her. He must have thought that dog was trying to replace him because as small as he was, he chased that bigger dog all through the house until my daughter’s friend had to take her dog and leave. No extra dogs were allowed in his place!

As he got older, he started running and barking a little less frequently. He lost his hearing and eyesight which meant he couldn’t roam the perimeter the way he used to, but it was ok, it just gave him more cuddling time with his mom.

On April 3, two days after his 20th birthday, Ratty slept for the final time. Life seems a lot different without him here, the house seems emptier. He was such a big part of the family that it feels strange calling my daughter and not asking how Ratty is doing.

I thank God for giving Ratty 20 years of love and blessings, he was the love of my whole family’s life, not just my daughter. Until we meet again Ratty, we love you.

Be blessed in Jesus’ name.

Mary Simmons is a columnist for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch. She can be reached at aboxoflove37@gmail.com.