I wasn’t looking her when I walked into that dog kennel. I was there to see another beast in need.
It was a warm spring day and I had been eying this yellow thing online. He was a beast by definition and puppy at that. Great Dane and pit bull mix. Sweet as sweet can be, but I lived in an apartment as well as I had no upper body strength at the time. He could have overpowered me in a heartbeat had he wanted to. I’d soon realize we weren’t for each other.
I think that moment was helped into my mind as I was waiting for the aide to bring him to me. I was looking around at the other babies in need. Standing in this area with some cages and half enclosures, I was waiting by the door when this wet nose touched my elbow. I turned to see these big brown eyes staring up at me. Her white fur with her random black markings. There was something about her.
I’d take her home that night. $40 and she was mine. We hit the ground running. She was always making me laugh. She was a nut. I was hers and we were inseparable.
We’d hit our bumps as she had been given up twice. Consequences of not liking other dogs nor little kids. I’d often ponder giving her away. One time I even tried. It lasted a week and I took her back. We made it work for 9 and a half years.
She had to be in my sight. If I moved, she moved. No matter my mood, she loved me. I probably didn’t deserve that, but she did. Every day, every moment. Even when I was mean. My patience and my temper often got the best of me in my younger days. Still, I could not give her up.
I never really was the kind, at that time, that thought a person and a dog could be so attached. Then the day would come when I realized how possible that actually was.
My first trip to the beach was a year ago. She wasn’t to go with me, but circumstances changed that. I am glad now that this is how it played out. I wish I’d changed my ways sooner.
As we sat on the beach, she was so tired and so beat. I wanted to chalk it up to stress and maybe it was. I wanted to blame the blistering heat and sun…maybe it was, but even that day I knew. Her black spots had grown so gray. Her steps were not as swift. Her desire to play had diminished. Her and I knew her time was limited.
I wasn’t sure how much time she really had left. An emergency vet had told me two years earlier there was a possibility she was suffering from cancer. Still she defied the odds and I found an amazing vet that fixed her up as it ended up not being cancer at all. At least not at that time.
It happened so fast. One day, five months after that day on the beach, she’d just stop eating. She barely moved, would often get confused, and the spot under the bed was her favorite place to be. I struggled all week. The vet said it was inevitable. Surgery would be worse than the disease.
That last night, I slept on the floor with her so she could lay by me one last time. She stayed by my side the whole time. When I woke to her falling down, I knew she had made the decision I had been struggling with. She could not stand at all and just continued to fall. I made the call.
As we awaited our appointment, I laid by her one last time and she touched my elbow with her nose. Her way of saying goodbye. The same way she said hello. Rip, Ramsey. Love you, baby girl.
Montana Rose Photography