|In loving- memory of- Lilo|
Support bully- love. Ban BSL.
|Barked: Sat Feb 2, '13 11:12am PST |
|Thank you to both of you. I did my best by her. By all of the dogs. I only wanted to make sure they were all happy and comfortable. Thank you so much for your kind words.
When Cinnamon passed, I wrote for her. With Lilo, being that it happened with me so far from home, it was easier to fall into denial. I think I'm still in denial. Part of me feels that I'll get home and see her, and discover none of this is real. But I know it is. I have decided to write for her, though. In the past, I would have blogged it first, but I have not been blogging. So I decided to post it here first, a memorial of sorts.
We went through so much to have you. You started life on top of the world. A spoiled house dog, blissfully unaware that you would be rehomed in due time. I met you then. I was much younger than I am today. Ten years younger. Ten years isn't much to a human, but to a dog, that's pretty much a life time. You were a young dog then. Maybe only 8, 9 months old the first time I saw you. When I first met you at that cook out, I had no idea you'd be in my life again. Life is mysterious, though. And when I left that house, that was not the last time I saw you. I wasn't thinking of all the things we'd some day do. I wasn't thinking about how one day, you'd own my heart. All I knew was that you were a dog, who belonged to a neighbor, who I supposed I'd never see again.
Our lives were intertwined after that, and I didn't even know. After your owners had to move, they rehomed you. Every home you'd been through, was a life connected to my own in some way. It was truly as though destiny was working on bringing you to us. You were bred in some of these homes. Mistreated. You went through a lot to get to us. Finally, by the time you were three or maybe it was two - it's truly hard to remember - you made your way to my sister. She loved you. Oh, how she loved you. Remember how she lost her job and could barely afford to feed herself? Even when she was eating beans and rice for dinner, she made sure you were fed. We met again. This was so long ago. I was fresh in high school. Just turned fourteen. She had just taken you in then. You had had puppies. You were nervous. It's understandable. I never held it against you. You had just arrived to a new home, leaving a home where you weren't treated as you should have been. You snapped at me, but not out of spite - out of fear. You didn't break the skin. It was just a nip. But I never held it against you.
You grew from that dog into a loving, friendly dog. You were no longer scared. My sister taught you to sit, heel, stay, and come. And you started playing fetch. Oh, how you loved to play fetch. Tennis balls were always your favorite. You loved playing tug, too. For many years, you lived with my sister. I didn't see you often, for she lived away from home. So, even when you were my sister's dog, I couldn't have imagined that one day you'd be mine, too.
Then, my sister and her boyfriend had to move back home. The economy bit them again. Hard. They lived with us for a couple years and you came with them. You were about five by this point. In the beginning, you had to live outside. Don't hold it against my mom. She loved you, too, she just grew up different. Where she was raised, big dogs were outside. And that's just how it was. It would be many years later that I'd finally start to convince her otherwise. Even outside, we made sure you knew you were loved. I grew attached. I started to love the dog I'd seen when I was but 11 or 12. A dog that had crossed my life several times, but had never been an integral part of it had now become one of my best friends.
When you were younger - middle aged in dog years, I suppose - you had more energy than I could have ever imagined. You could have given a Jack Russell Terrier, a Yorkie, or a Border collie a run for their money. For hours we'd be in the backyard. It was always the same games, but it was always fun. I'd throw your tennis ball and you'd retrieve it. We'd do this for a long time before you got bored and decided it was a better idea to run laps around the yard with it, biting down until it was destroyed. And then, when the tennis ball had run its course, you'd find me a stick and we'd play with that. We'd chase each other around the back yard. I'd let you jump in my arms. And you loved nothing more than holding tightly onto that rope toy while I spun you briefly in the air. You were so young then. So much younger than you were just yesterday. But time changes things.
My sister and her boyfriend had to leave for Texas and decided it would be best if you stayed where you were. And on that fateful day, you became ours. You've seen us through so much. You were there when Chance passed away. You were there when we had to downgrade our home after my the company my mother worked for began to go bankrupt and she was let go. You were there when Cinnamon passed away. We went through so much to keep you. It was hard finding a home that would allow you to stay. For a brief period, you had to live with a friend until we could. But we did. We did it for you. Because you have become a part of our family and we didn't want to lose you. Not until it was your time to go. My sister came back from Texas many years ago. And she still loves you. She made sure you knew that. You had become not just my dog - but a family dog. You filled Chance's shoes as a family dog. And while he could have never been "replaced" (certainly, no dog can), you did become the family dog after he left us.
You aged fast. Ten years ago, you were but a pup. But just yesterday, you were a senior. Your muzzle was gray, gray streaked your once white markings, and even mixed its way into your brindle coat. Your gait wasn't what it once was. You no longer pranced around the yard - but, rather, walked slowly. As if carefully thinking about every step. You had to be put on joint supplements. The way it had plagued Chance before you, arthritis began to plague you. I knew it was coming. I just didn't realize how fast. We tried to make you comfortable. We tried our hardest. You slept soundly in your crate in your room most of the time. You did not have the energy we remembered. I knew, in my heart, that the end was near.
So, perhaps, it wasn't that much of a shock when my mother told me the news. You were fading fast. My sister had rushed you to the vet, but it looked bleak. No one thought you would make it through the poking and prodding that goes with a diagnosis. And so, you were put down. The kindest decision one could have made. I loved you with all my heart, and I believe you knew this to be true. Life won't be the same without you. It will be hard not hearing you howl every time sirens blare. It will be tough not walking past "your" room and seeing you sound asleep in your crate. I don't know what I'll do now that I don't have to take you out to use the bathroom after breakfast and dinner. But I know you know I loved you. My only regret is that I didn't get to say goodbye. And that you didn't die the way Chance did, peacefully in his sleep.
"There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
But when we are certain of sorrow in store
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear."
In loving memory of Lilo
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