Woman’s Best Friend

She has been my almost constant companion for over 15 years. She has slept with me, ate with me, played with me, made me laugh, was there when I cried, stayed with me when I was ill or when I just needed a hug.  She always looks at me with those deep brown understanding eyes that say I love you (Even though I am not happy with this situation….Why did you have to bring that redheaded thing home and why are all of these other animals in my house? I liked it better when it was just you and me-but I still love you anyway.)

I remember when I used to take her out to lunch with the girls… in my purse. I took her everywhere in my purse (way before Paris Hilton made it cool-Paris totally got that from me by the way). I remember when I came home one night and it looked like it had snowed in the living room because she shredded an entire box of Kleenex because I had to work late. I remember when she chewed a hole in the leg of my brand new unworn pantsuit. I remember when she would attack the cat on command (they are friendly attacks-don’t call PETA or anything (the cat is still alive too and fat in her own old age)). I remember the Fourth of July when she was attacked by a German Sheppard and went into shock and I nursed her all night till the vet opened the next day (she still has the scars). How she loves her goat, which we still have and she still gets excited when she sees him. How she looked down safely from her perch in her favorite chair on the ten Labrador Retriever puppies as they ransacked the entire house, giving them all the what-for if they looked at her wrong. I remember how she used to lay in front of the water bowl like the sphinx prohibiting two Labs (175 pounds worth total weight) from getting a drink all day long, until I came home to run her off. They would lay there staring at her…..panting. She did it just because she could. Throwing her weight around….all 18 pounds of it. She bossed them around and they listened.

When she was a puppy, we would spend hours in the yard together playing with sticks or she would chase the leaves as they blew by. When she was older she would lay in the shade and watch me work in my flower beds and garden. If I worked my way too far away from her to suit her, she would get up and move closer so she could keep an eye on me, adamantly keeping all robins out of the yard until it was time to go inside for the evening. We even experienced the paranormal together in the old farmhouse on the hill up from the cemetery. She kept me safe from the things that go bump in the night…..and in the shower, standing guard in the bathroom for me.

Her muzzle is now grey. These days she doesn’t do much but sleep, eat and watch all of us go about our daily routines from her spot on the dog bed. Some days she will lie outside in the grass if the weather is nice, sniffing up everything that waifs by. Of course there is the occasional frisky moment when she still gives the cat hell or flings a toy at me when I sit down to watch TV in the evening.

She has been here so long I think I have taken her for granted. You never realize how much you care about something until it is threatened. 

Pets are our friends, companions, emotional supporters, stress relievers. They never criticize or judge us. They are always waiting gratefully for whatever attention we should bestow on them. They truly love us unconditionally. A pet may be the only opportunity that one has in life to choose a family member.

I am struggling. I know that her time is nearing an end in this world. How much is left I can not say. She can not hear well. She can not see well.  And now she might be loosing one of her eyes. We have been doctoring it for a week as the orb continues to swell in its own socket. The doctor recommends giving it one more week to see how it goes and then we will have to have it removed if it does not improve.

I don’t believe that her time is here yet. I have had to make this decision before but in retrospect it seemed to be easier then than it is now. I hope that when it is the right time, I will look in those deep brown eyes and I will know for sure…… Or maybe one brown eye.

My friend for 15 years.  My dog. Dinah.

Footnote – I thought I would like to post a picture from her younger days, but alas those days were prior to the age of digital photography. I have lots of photos of her but they are the hard copies packed safely in a box in my storage unit along with all of my other worldly possessions. I will have to dig them out and scan them in.

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5 Comments

  1. GRANNY said,

    March 24, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    BELIEVE ME, I FEEL WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH. WHEN THE TIME COMES, AND IT SOUNDS LIKE IT WON’T BE TOO FAR OFF, PLEASE KNOW I HAVE BEEN THERE AND I TRULY FEEL YOUR PAIN.

  2. Christy Goodwin said,

    March 25, 2010 at 12:24 AM

    Oh my, I remember that little spit fire! I would visit on one occasion and be her best friend, the next time I wasn’t allowed to sit on “her” chair (I might wake up with her butt in my face but, hey.) It is hard for me to imagine Dinah as old. You will make the right choice at the right time, it will never be easy.

  3. Claudia said,

    March 29, 2010 at 10:51 PM

    Wow, I remember all of that. I would add, the look on our face when she was in the shop waiting her vet appointment after her attack and the State inspector walks in. You were priceless guiding her through the shop, and little Dinah was so sick she didn’t make a sound.
    I lost Cheyenne and Casper about 18 months appart, of course I had got them the same year. Cheyenne couldn’t see or hear, amazing how his nose guided him. I said I would never get another one, but Bella came to me 18 mon. ago. I never picked out a pet, they always came to me. It’s like having another child. And when they go it’s like losing your best friend. You are right, they are always there for you. You will do the right thing.

    • March 30, 2010 at 6:48 AM

      I had forgot about the inspector. I locked Dinah in the massage room and lied and said we had a client in there. lol. I remember looking over at you and when the inspector walked thru the door and both of our face were “oh crap!” We had just said that morning,”What are the chances that an inspector would show up today anyway.” lol

  4. Diane Moore said,

    April 6, 2010 at 2:43 PM

    Oh Shannon what a sweet and wonderful person you are. I have always thought of you with all your animals and now I see what a truly excellent parent you have become.
    I hope your time with Dinah is a little bit longer . Long enough for Savanah to know and remember her too.
    This is my first trip here but I promise it wont be my last . I have enjoyed your stories so much . Life stories are to be treasured , Thank you for shareing yours.


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