On Thursday, we said goodbye to this beautiful old friend. Rody (short for Rodan, one of the Godzilla monsters) was nearly 14, or 98 in dog years.
A Long Life Well-Lived
I adopted her from the Humane Society in April 2000. I wasn't that sentimental then, so I don't even remember the date. Maybe April 12th or 13th?? At some point in our life together she switched from being my furry baby to being my partner. Everywhere I lived, she and I explored together on our long walks. When I gained weight during my first pregnancy, so did she. When I was getting divorced and needed to be out of the house, she walked with me every night, sometimes for miles. Of all the members of my family, I feel like she was the one whose personality was most like mine: extrovert/outdoor soul.
One night after she came to live with me, I woke myself up laughing. That had never happened before, but it was because of her. Her immense joy for life was contagious. "Live like someone left the gate open"?? That was her!
She Was Always There
After I got divorced she stayed for awhile with my ex-husband because the duplex I was renting didn't allow pets. Eventually she went to stay with my parents three hours away. I bought a house because she was getting older and I wanted her last days to be spent with me and the kids. That was nearly four years ago.
In the past year, she had really slowed down. For one thing, I could catch her before she darted out the door. She also stopped jumping up on the beds when we were gone. Last week, though, she wouldn't eat. She had trouble getting up the few steps from the backyard into the house. Worst of all, she didn't bark and kept her eyes closed most of the time. I knew in my heart that this was it, although "magical thinking" kicked in at some point and I tried to tell myself it was just a little cold.
I feel so lucky that we got as much time as we did together. But I do MISS my dog. She was a great friend.
Here's a video of Jimmy Stewart reading a poem he wrote about his dog, Beau, on the Tonight Show.