Lewis Grizzard nailed it when he once wrote, "I like dogs because they forgive easy, know little or nothing about revenge, and will settle for 30 seconds of love and attention if that is all you have to spare". I just found out that I lost Lady, a dog I loved and cared for dearly. She had been a part of our family since 1996.
She came to us as a delinquent. She had been in and out of the doggy penal system. She was a dog on her last leg with the Cobb County Authorities, the judge had thrown the book at her. She had one week to live.
But she also came to us during a time of crisis. We had just lost one doggy friend and were in bad need of another. As we walked the hall of that pound, there was a dog that, as my mom put it, "chose us, we didn't choose her, she chose us". The pound told us not to bother, she had been in and out, a dog on her last leg. "A dog her age", they said, "was too old to change". We didn't mind them or their non-sense, there are few things love won't fix, I reckon.
The first couple of months were rough. I'll never forget that she was skid-dish of most any loud noise, liquid or metal object. It made me think that she came from an abusive home. She'd rear-up and take-off, so many times that my dad had to go before a judge who told him, "if that dog gets loose again you're getting a $1,000 fine", a sum impossible to pay. But my mom took care of that, when she saw Lady that day she gave her one of those glares that only moms can give and said, "You get in that car!". Lady never ran off again.
She stood by use through so many changes, I guess that happens when you share a home for 14 years. She was that still, gentle spirit always present to lift us up. We shared so many memories. I remember how she seemed to know when I needed a boost. I remember how I shared my bed with her, though sometimes I felt I was the guest with how she managed to hog all the space. The rides in the truck, that one time she hung so far out the window she almost fell out, and I almost crashed pulling her back in. I remember never seeing her snap at anyone or anything. I remember the latter years, when she would whine from the base of the stairs, wanting to visit me in my room but not be able to climb due to her old age. I remember how I had to carry up those stairs, a task I wish I could do at least once more. I remember how I can't recall once walking through the front door without being greeting by her, not once in the last 14 years. And that makes me a little upset to know the next time she won't be there.
My dad said that she didn't want to come in after her final evening walk. My dad carried back inside. They say dogs know when they reach the end and try to leave home to die. She died right by the front door.
We grew to love her in a way that only dog lovers will understand, and if your not one, I truly feel sorry for you, I really do. As I write this with tears rolling down my face, and the feeling that I had to say goodbye 9 months too soon, I can't think of any better way to express how I feel, other then to rob from what my brother Jason said, "Lady, you were a wonderful dog, slow to anger and cheerful in all situations. I love you and will miss you dearly", well put brother, well put.