This month, I want to take a somber look at and have a conversation
about something that is inevitable — something we all face in life.
I recently lost a client I was very close to. This client never complained
about anything when we got together. Whenever we had a meeting, he
was always super happy to see me and just be in the room.
As I explained the details to him, he would look at me and let me know he
understood. But I could tell he didn’t care one way or the other because
he knew everything I was doing was for his benefit and position.
When I learned he passed away, it hit me like a ton of bricks. You might
say, “Gary, this happens all the time. We enjoy life; we live, and we die.”
The reason this hit me harder than most because of all the financial
advisors that came into his sphere, he made it clear that then on, I was
the only person who would ever handle his assets.
It’s that commitment — 100% all-in — that I will never forget. Now, I want
to share with you a poem, written by someone who (probably) cared
even more about my client than me.
“On the Death of Our Dog, Patches”
John H. Trestrail III, Jan. 17, 2019
He came into our life as a puppy, all black and white.
It was clear to see that to our lives, he would be such a delight!
As he matured, he became noticed by all on their way,
“He’s beautiful!” and “His hair is so soft!” almost everyone would say.
He traveled well for the many days on the very long ride in our car,
from Michigan to New Mexico which, for us, was a ride so very far.
He settled in well to our new home in the West, his activities a delight for us
all to see, he had a personality that was unique, there was no other dog like he.
Each day the post arrived, his very loud bark would alert all around
without fail, saying to all the neighbors it was the time, they could go and
get their mail.
He always had to sniff each bush to see who’d been around, when we took our daily walks through the community which was our town.
And as the clock turned neat 1:00 p.m., he’d always sense the time,
to chase the red laser dot, before getting his chance to dine.
And at the front door, he’d watch for any visitors to arrive each day,
then run and get his “Woobie” toy, showing them all that he’d like to play.
And each night he’d hop up on our bed, with his head toward the door,
I’d remind him, “You’ve to guard duty!”
but I don’t know how he did it through his audible snore.
You were once so young and seemed to play forever, being so free,
but age has now caught up to you, the effects are now plain to see!
The pains and cries you’ve lately made were due to more than we could know!
It is with painful hearts and sobbing tears, that we have decided to let you
And now the time has come for you to physically depart,
I shed the tears, through all the fears, and a pain has filled my heart!
I looked down on the veterinarian’s floor on which you had to lie,
and I laid there next to you upon that floor, as you were about to die!
We were nose-to-nose, and I rubbed your head, as you received that fatal dose, and I whispered softly in your ear, “Wait for me at the Rainbow Bridge,” once again we will be close!
Oh, how I wish that you could have stayed!
For now, I realize, along with you,
a little piece of me died today!
I now look around our home, but do not see you there, and the absence of the normal sounds you made, is more than I can bear!
I still think about the things we’d always do, to spend our time at play,
our walks, our talks were so much fun, and our snuggles that would end
We now both have decided there will be no more pets — like you there would be very few.
“Patches” you were so very unique,
we never had another dog like you!
Yes, this poem is about a dog named Patches, and the client I was speaking
about was this very dog. Those of us who knew Patches knew him as much
more than a dog. He was a good friend, and he touched so many lives.
Patches’ owners made sure to include a provision in their estate plan so that if anything ever happened to them, Patches would be taken care of.
While they were never in that situation, it highlights the love and care they placed on Patches. It’s something you can do to. Look at your own situation; if you have a loved one like Patches, make sure you have plans for them as well, just in case.
P.S. To Belle and Ebony, we still miss you each and every day