July 7th has been a special day to me since 2002. It’s my dog’s birthday, and I always did something extra special for her, whether it was an extra treat or opening a can of wet dog food for her to enjoy. In the big scheme of things, she probably had no idea why she was suddenly getting these things, but it made me happy to celebrate her birthday. She was my best friend, and you do special things for your best friend even if they don’t expect it.
She would have been 15.
This year is the first year July 7th has come around without her. It’s been 7 months since she was put to sleep, and it was by far the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I believe it was in her best interest because the arthritis was pretty bad – to the point that she couldn’t stand up all the time when going to the bathroom. I know she didn’t want that. I know she wanted anything but to fall back in her own filth. I believe she wanted more than the pain she felt when she moved.
But sometimes she wouldn’t cry. Sometimes she was fine. Those moments always gave me hope. They always made me reconsider my decisions and made me believe that maybe she wasn’t as bad as I thought. But her medicines weren’t working, and I hated hearing her cry when she went to bed.
As you can tell, the decision still haunts me. I still constantly wonder if I made the right choice, but I did notice that life was different after she left. I hadn’t realized how much I was cleaning up after her or how quiet it was now that she wasn’t crying anymore.
I know it’s going to be hard tomorrow. I’ve gotten to the point where I can see her picture without getting too sad, but now I get a little teary thinking about her. We had 14 1/2 years together, and I loved every minute of it.
Okay, sometimes I got a little miffed when she would bark in the middle of the night and wake me up just so she could sit outside. Sometimes she annoyed me too when she would walk away when I tried to pet her. Honestly, I’ve decided that my dog was more of a cat than my cat was. Maybe it’s a husky thing, or maybe it was just her personality. Either way, she had the standoffish, pet me when I want to be petted persona of a cat.
But I love her. Even now.
We used to play hide and seek, and she would get so excited when she found me. She would bark and pounce around in those trademark play bows that dogs do before running back to our starting place to play again.
She would boss around our other dogs, even our rottweiler who we thought would be the boss of the pack. She would sing with me and sound like Chewbacca. And I would sing right back (just ask my family – I can sound just like her & have actually been mistaken for her).
I laughed every time she went on sprints around our backyard and pool at full speed. I would get mad when in the dead of winter she would refuse to come in from the bed she made in the snow. I freaked out when it snowed so much she could walk over our gate. I got scared when she got out of our yard and led the other two down the block.
She was an obedience school drop out.
The trainer tried to get her to come, and she refused. The trainer said we needed to teach her what her name was first despite the fact that she knew her name very well. We explained the stubborness of huskies, but the trainer didn’t believe us. She also didn’t believe that my dog came to us at home. We quit after that, but she was well trained.
She took treats gingerly from your fingers. She knew that when you said “Off” she better get away from whatever was on the ground or in her mouth. Even when she killed a raccoon. She dropped that thing as if it was on fire and backed away.
She wasn’t afraid to remind the other dogs who was boss either. And when she wanted to have a playmate outside, she’d keep our lab in the corner and prevent her from coming inside when we called.
My mother always said she was what kept life interesting. The other dogs would come when they were called and kept a low profile. My husky was a true princess though. You never knew what she would do, and that was what made her so much fun. Would she come? Would she not?
She was a good dog.
It’s still strange sometimes when I remember that she is no longer with me. I used to look for her all the time. I saw her empty bowls and had to stop myself on several occasions from filling her bowl with water.
One day another dog might walk into my life, but I feel bad for him or her. There are huge pawprints to fill, and I honestly doubt there will ever be another dog that could possibly fill the gaping hole she left.
I hope she understand why I did what I did. I hope she felt loved. I’m sorry her last day wasn’t full of more love; I didn’t know it would be her last. I miss her still. I’ll miss her always I think. I hope she’s still running and bossing the other dogs around at the rainbow bridge and that we will meet again someday.
At least I have the memories. Tomorrow I will try not be too sad. I will remember all the fun times we had.
Here’s to my princess, the best dog I ever had the privilege of knowing. Thank you, girl, for sharing your life with me.