Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rest in Peace, little Pup

Just yesterday I posted how Alki seemed to be feeling great. I'm glad she had a great day and came out and enjoyed the sun, because today she woke up with a badly swollen leg. We watched her until afternoon to see if it was temporary, but it was bothering her, and she kept coming to me for help. We took her to the vet and she confirmed that the cancer had blocked something. She was able to let her go while resting peacefully in my lap. Almost three years since the cancer diagnosis, and it was no easier even though we knew it was coming. But it was the right thing to do. We never wanted her to suffer, and the time had come to let her go.

Alki was almost 15, and we got her when she was 8 weeks old, in fact we met her litter while they were still blind and in the box with their mama, who was also a wonderful dog and convinced us she would have a great temperment. One of my favorite stories is how we met her. The breeder had two girl pups left, and we got to choose. She said 'take them out on the lawn and play with them and see which one fits you better, but I recommend this one' and handed us a pup. We took her out on the lawn and put her on the grass and Dave called her and she toddled over to him, and then I called her and she toddled back to me, and she was so sweet and adorable. Then we went back in and she handed us the other pup. We took this one out and Dave called her and as soon as I set her on the grass whoosh - she took off running - away! Dave jumped up and grabbed her and brought her back, and I called her, and as soon as her feet hit the grass - zoom - she ran away again! Dave caught her and we took her back inside, the puppy wriggling and trying to get away, and told the breeder - we'll take this one! 'Are you sure?' she said, knowing the other one was sweet and mellow, and we were first-time owners. 'Yup, this is the one' :)

And she was. Beautiful, full of spunk and trouble, she was absolutely evil as a puppy, destructive and pesky. But she grew up to be loving, and a great firend, loved to pin us to the couch with a paw on each shoulder and try to drown us in kisses. She knew all her toys by name, learned tons of tricks, knew hand signals, and would have earned her CGC except we moved across the state the week before testing. She would 'go find Daddy', and loved to say hello at the door, and wasn't happy until everyone was home. When we moved out in the country and she stepped on thorns, she would hobble over to me and hold her paw up for me to make it better. We eat dinner sitting at a low table, and she would sit on the floor between us for the best view of the plates and potential for leftovers. Every morning she would wake up and come find me for a hug.

We did what we could about the cancer. She never complained a bit, and trotted off willingly with the nurse for every treatment. She got a couple extra years, and a chance to grow into an old dog. I'm glad we were able to give her that time, and keep her comfortable and love her for as long as we did. I know she never went a day without knowing how much she was loved, and in the end I guess that's the best any of us can hope for.

Rest in peace Sweetie, Beautiful, Pup, Alki.


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Hugs and prayers...

dotoner said...

awww - Steph that was just so beautiful!

RobbieKay said...

A lovely eulogy. I'm sorry you had to make that difficult decision and for your grief, but I imagine it must be easier knowing you did everything you could for her and you didn't let her suffer. Have you ever seen the movie "Shadowlands"? There's a lesson in that movie that I always remember at times like these. It's basically, "the sadness now makes the happiness then real".