To My Vet, who is my cousin, and yet, he is the best Vet:
Why do I say these things? Surely, it isn’t because we are related. (we do look alike)
It is because you care. You care what is happening to me, to my children, and to our family fur-balls.
Thank you for teaching me how to be a better dog owner, by being a wonderful one yourself. Thank you for guiding me through this process of a dog’s lifetime. And for giving me the ability to know when enough is enough.
I don’t know if you will ever know how much Reana meant to me. When she suddenly came into my life a decade ago, I barely took care of myself. My daughter and I had just bought our first house, and so she filled the all-too-empty spaces we had to spare. I shuffled back and forth through antidepressants in the winter, and her unconditional love saved my life a time or two.
Pathetic? Maybe. But let’s be honest, when your only child is at her dad’s, your best friends are some average musicians (drunks) in a country band, and everyone you have talked to all week just wants “something…” well, let’s just say that she “saw” me when I didn’t even see me.
And when I would finally come home (I mean MAN, she could hold it forever) she was always at the door, happy to see me.
I remember one time we were at the lake with my dad, and she could hear a mouse behind the walls. She crouched down in front of the hole in the wall and waited, 2 hours, 3….6….48 hours, before the mouse got hungry enough to take a shot past the hole. He made it into the bathroom and almost to the kitchen when:
She crunched his neck and toddled in to drop him at the foot of my bed.
(I see mousetraps in my future now.)
I will never forget the time when she was younger, I came home from a gig that was like 2 hours away, and it was late, and she was so happy to see me, I finally dropped into bed, exhausted. No sooner had I started to doze of when, THUNK, she dropped a tennis ball on my nose.
Silly dog, we aren’t playing catch in the middle of the night. So, I tossed the tennis ball off the bed.
She answered me in a few moments with yet ANOTHER THUNK on my nose. I reached up to throw it again, but thought rolling over and placing it under my pillow would be the better option.
No matter how bad her breath, or how annoying she was, or how many times she ran away from home, she was always happy to see me.
The skunks, and her tail between her legs. The squirrels…a whole nest of rabbits, even. She had little tolerance for anything that didn’t belong here. She even took on a pitbull in her prime (and won!).
I don’t think she ever realized that she was a small dog. She had a big dog heart trapped inside that little 12 pound body (ok, 16 pounds…I DID cut back on the treats!)…but she was Not. A. Small. DOG!
She had so much courage, and tenacity, and she was always so patient with my children.
Here she is with my 2nd Arrow, when he was a baby, saying “Wub, wub, wub you…”
I am really not ready for her to go. But I cannot bear to watch her be weak. It reminds me too much of how soft I have become (I haven’t run away from home in almost 30 years now) because I guess in my old age, I am just now figuring out that some fights, most fights, just are not worth the effort.
I, or should I say, She and I, still hear those pesky squirrels in the yard, but we don’t chase down every one of them, because we like the home we have now and we have no desire to get lost in the cold.
I guess I always imagined that when she finally matured and was old enough to be a calm little lap dog, that I would love her all that much more, but it just isn’t true. I have a crazy paranoia about mice, and life just isn’t the same.
Truth be told, she has been gone for some time. She has faded steadily since we had our third child, and then had to send Tzofi away. She is blind in one eye, and deaf in one ear (and if she is not deaf, she has mastered the art of ignoring me!)…
The spot in the bed where she used to lay to keep me warm, is now occupied by a better defender, and my other best friend. And I suppose she feels replaced. Or maybe subdued.
For that, I feel a deep regret.
Reana, even though you were never my Queen (because I AM the Alpha Dog in this house 😉 ) I still thank you for all that you have done to serve our family, and love them well. Even the daycare kids, who some days entertained themselves by getting you to bark, you were never cruel.
I love you, and will not forget you.
To My Vet, the Best Vet, Yet: Thank you for keeping her well, and for cherishing her.
Good bye, to you both, for now. And may you be at peace.