Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Good News and The Bad News Tuesday!

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day! Mine was hit and miss. I got to see the nieces and the nephew, the day before, but on the actual holiday itself, I lost my dear friend Emma:


Emma was adopted from a rescue agency right when I bought my house. I had always dreamed of having a Shepherd, and finally having a back yard large enough to let her wander around was my way of congratulating myself and saying the I had achieved one of life's goals. I found her via a rescue agency, and when I went to the vet that was sponsoring her, she was patrolling the office making sure everything was in order. She always had that hard-wired in her programming, and had it until the end.

When we drove her home for the first time, she threw up in the back seat of the car. We weren't to move into our house for a couple of months, so we probably got her prematurely, because that meant that we were to share an efficiency apartment with this energetic, rather large puppy. I had no idea what awaited me.

Emma understood the housebreaking element quickly enough, but she went stir crazy a lot. In the evenings, she refused to go to sleep unless I slept on the floor next to her. What's more, I had to be touching her at all times, or she'd freak out. So, if I were to roll over and my fingers weren't in direct contact with her, she would cry until I corrected my error.

She also had to go for walks at 3 a.m. This was November, so every morning I would bundle up and we'd brave the elements. As we walked around the track, I would mutter under my breath, "I know you're trying to kill me. And you're succeeding. But then, when you've done me in, who is going to take you for walks? Answer me that, smartypants."

But we moved into the house the following December, and she grew out of her rambunctious puppy stage and became that dog. She was the dog who called us when Red the Dachshund fell in the pool, the dog who slept in the hallway and barked whenever she heard a noise outside, the dog who kept salespeople away, and the dog that all other dogs loved without reservation.

She developed hip problems shortly after her tenth birthday. We did the surgeries, but she never fully recovered. Finally, Sunday afternoon one of her legs gave out and she couldn't stand. Fortunately, we found a vet clinic that was open on Sunday and she didn't have to suffer.

As we have always done, we were with her when the end came. When the time comes to put your dog down, always be in the room with him/her. They look for you. Yes, our hearts broke as the light left her eyes, but she knew we were there and that, as she protected us, we were protecting her in the end.

It is difficult to say goodbye to her. She was such a stable member of our family for over twelve years, and her kind maternal presence in our home is sorely missed by both humans and dogs alike. This photo shows how dogs regarded her, despite her size:



And yes, this was the third dog in nine months I have had to put down. We now have Alf (the poodle sleeping with Emma in the above photo) and Tux, who has now been with me a year and seems to know it's now up to him to assume the role of protector.

So, the bad news is that this is all I feel like talking about today. The good news is that Mike Sterling showed me how to auto-post, so from this day hence, you should be able to check the blog at the same time every day and there will be new funnybook goodness awaiting you!

So long, Emma. Round up the other dogs and wait for us. Wherever you are in the next life, I want to be there with you.

Thanks for bearing with me.... we'll make with the funny tomorrow!

14 comments:

Murfyn said...

Condolences . . .

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

So sorry, Adam. I don't know what it says about my character that I care more about my border collie than I do more than a few humans. My oldest dog lived to be 18, my youngest barely 7. I'm up in Chicago and I'll take my 6 yr old collie out in front to lay in the snow and lick it, because I know he wants me there or it isn't as fun. What's fun for him is fun for me. Take care.

LissBirds said...

My heart goes out to you. I've never known a life without pets and they really become a part of your family. Thanks for sharing Emma's story with us. She seemed like a wonderful dog. :)

KillerLu said...

Sorry to hear about your dog becoming ill and your loss.
I found it interesting that Emma threw up in the back seat of your vehicle. I had an akita that did the same thing. In fact, it took awhile before she got used to traveling by car.
Take care.

SallyP said...

I'm so sorry Adam. I know it's always hard to lose a family member.

Ellen M said...

What a sweet pic of Alf & Emma. Glad you gave her a happy life & rescued her. She never forgot that I'm sure. Thanks for telling her story.

Aurora Moon said...

Awww!!! As an dog owner I feel your pain. :(

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

Allergy said...

My deepest condolences for your loss, Adam.

Khymera said...

Sorry about your poor pooch. She must have been a great dog.

jehingr said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. May the shamrocks fall softly on your sweet lass.

Mike Leffel said...

Very beautiful post! :) So sorry ..

MOCK! said...

What beautiful words....

Robert Gillis said...

Adam, I am so very sorry. We lost our Missy (a shepherd mix) at 12 years last summer. And we've lost one to cancer and one to Cushings. They are part of the family and it is never, ever easy. Thank you for sharing her story, and God bless you and beloved to ease your pain.

Bob G.