October 22, 2007
That’s the date we met. I wanted a dog that was sturdy enough the boy wouldn’t break and small enough it wouldn’t over take the toddler girl. I found you, with your tank of a body and stubby legs at the shelter. You were in your kennel, laying there, and not barking. False advertising. I mean, you lived to bark. I wonder now why you weren’t barking that day. The paper work said you were six, but the vet we saw not much later said more like seven. We knew you had tons of life left in you and we weren’t wrong.
I wasn’t alone that day. My husband and the girl were there too. You didn’t meet the boy until he came home from kindergarten. Our backyard wasn’t fully fenced yet so I had to take you out on a leash. Those early days were all about me and the little girl walking you after the boy got on the bus. I remember so much…
You ate everything. Well maybe not everything, but the list includes Juliet’s hair, Mr. Potatohead parts, lots of crayons, part of a plastic grocery bag, and your own nail trimmings. You had anxiety problems that ranged from vomit to whining at a high pitch just because my husband left to do an errand. You refused to do a sit unless there was a blanket or grass under you. And you hated it when we got more dogs, but eventually you gave into them being here. Kind of.
But, you also got crazy. The good kind. It happened off and on because of scratches that made you happy, but usually it was because your bath was done. You’d run through the house at high speed. Then you’d flop down, spin your belly up to the ceiling, and you’d flail like a fish out of water. That was you at your happiest. That’s how I’ll always remember you.
I know these past couple of years have been rough. Your back problems started in summer of 2012. It happens with basset mixes. The long spine and short leg combo… Thank you for not giving up on life in 2013, most of which you spent scooting instead of walking. And around that time you started going blind. I don’t think you had much sight left and I’m pretty sure you were mostly deaf these days. But you still, through all that, crazy dogged whenever your bath was done. And you did it last week, when I picked you up and put you in the bed next to me.
December 11, 2014
That’s the day I woke up because I heard a thud. You weren’t in your doggy bed so I got out of bed and I was hoping to find you all right. It wasn’t to be. Forgive our indecisiveness. We weren’t prepared for that. Finding you unable to stand up or move at the bottom of the stairs. Even though, you weren’t whimpering in pain, it was scary. And we knew in hearts it was final.
But, because of that fall we found out just how much you had been hiding from us. Despite being mostly normal, or what we thought was normal, you were suffering from cancer. That lump inside your rib cage and in your bones. I hope it hadn’t hurt you too much.
Oh, Betty… I wasn’t ready to let you go. Not one bit. Out of all the pets, you resembled me the most. You’re the one I felt safest walking with. I love you. We all love you. We all miss you already. I missed you while you were in the emergency clinic and I couldn’t feed you breakfast. The house got so quiet without you…
I console myself with the fact you had a long life. We loved you and took care of you best we could. Though I wish I could have had more time… Just one more Christmas… I know you’re now in less pain, dealing with less struggle, and at peace.
You were a good girl.
Forever your human,