She came to us quiet and unassuming. Her wavy blond hair was soft to the touch. Her brown eyes piercing. Her presence dignified but easygoing. She asked for nothing but to be loved. Not that she wasn’t loved before –that’s just how she was. She demanded nothing from you but to be touched; maybe a hug or your hand resting on her head. And — of course a big bowl of food two times a day. That’s just how she was.
She came to us when she was almost six. We were to be her “retirement” home. She’s the only dog my kids remember. She helped my youngest get over her fright of big animals. She was a living pillow for their friends. She let the 4th grade class chinchilla walk on her back. She will forever be their childhood dog.
Yesterday I took her for one last walk, just she and I. It was our time to say a private good-bye. It was a sunny day, blue skies, and the spring winds were blowing her ears a bit. She stopped to take note of various scents. This time — on this walk — I stopped too. She walked carefully, slowly, as if each step caused discomfort around the area of her tumor. This time — on this walk — I slowed my steps instead of hurrying our usual walk, and followed her lead, smelling the various scents the spring winds blew in.
The rest is mere formality with a sense of humaneness. Even if you haven’t personally experienced it, you, my friends, know our story.