Goodbye Pup

Dear Princess,

I hope you don’t mind me sharing this with people, since I want to tell everyone about such a good dog.

When I was a little girl, there was one thing I wanted more than anything: a puppy. I asked for one a couple of Christmases in a row with no results. Finally, my parents told me that it would be unfair to a puppy to live in an apartment, but they promised me that if we got a house, I could get a puppy.

I was ten years old when we moved into our first house. It took a couple of months of looking for the “right” puppy, but eventually we found you. You were soooo cute! Everyone said that you looked like a tiny German Shepard, but with floppy ears, which was probably because you were half Beagle and half Husky-Shepard- even later on people thought you were a Shepard whose ears had never been cut. I think one of the things I liked best about you on first sight was that you were the runt of the litter, so it was something we had in common. You fit a shoebox when we first got you, it took a long time for you to grow into your full 50 pounds, something I can sympathize with.

I still remember what fun we had when you were little: the time you got “lost” in the long grass; how exciting you found all the new sights and scents on our trips to the White Mountains; all the times I put you in my backpack to visit my friend’s Sarah’s house because a mile each way was too long for a tiny puppy like you; all the times I had to take you and Vince for a walk and the time I put you both on leashes because he kept running out into the road (good thing Mom never found out).

There were plenty of bad things too, like when you got loose on mother’s day when you were eight months old, and got hit by a car. The vet told my parents not to bother spending the money to heal you, since you were “just a mutt” and I’ve always been grateful that they didn’t listen; they got another vet instead. It took you months before you could walk again, but you bounced back to your old self by the time you were one.

Eventually we both got bigger, and you decided that you were our watch dog. We didn’t need a doorbell with your barking to alert us of visitors. I’m sure you scared people away who shouldn’t have been there, since nothing at all escaped your notice! You also were very vigilant at keeping strangers away from me, which probably helped keep me safe, I know I never felt scared, no matter where we went. You were the best body-guard a girl could have asked for.

You never really liked people who weren’t in our immediate family, but you did take a shine to a couple of people. With the help of several bags of cool ranch doritios you eventually accepted by best friend growing up, and you liked her family too. I’ll never forget the time you got free and ran and ran, running faster every time you looked back and saw that I was gaining on you, and, just as I thought my lungs would explode, ran right into her yard and sat on the porch. I didn’t know if I should laugh or be angry. You also liked my Grampy, which was something that meant a lot to me since you only knew him when he was dying of cancer. It was almost as if you sensed he was someone to respect.

I don’t know how many miles you and I walked, it had to be in the thousands. You were always up for a two mile walk, which suited me just fine, since I loved to take a walk as a teenager to clear my mind. It made me really sad when you stopped being up for walks four or five years ago, though I understood that it’s what happens when one gets on in years. I still miss the walks, though, since taking them with humans is more of a conversation thing, not me in my thoughts, and you in yours whatever they might have been.

Besides quitting walks, I can’t believe how frisky you remained up until even a few months ago. How many dogs in their teens would climb onto a picnic table to sun themselves? I’m sure not many. It was hard to see you get so old, but you were always so full of life! Even a few days ago you were up and about, demanding more food when I thought you didn’t want it.

So this is just a letter to say thank you for being a good friend. Right now I’m still having trouble believing that you’re really gone. You’ve been here for every one of my birthdays for the past 15 years, and I’m turning 26 on Thursday… I’ll miss you, Girl.

8/27/87 - 3/04/03
The Best Dog Ever

Sleep well, Princess. You brought years of loyalty and playfulness and shared good times to your family. You had a great run. It’s time for a the well-earned rest that comes someday to every dog.

who still misses her Goodest Dog Ever, Tosh, every day

Could a mod close this thread? I thought the system was set up to not let you post twice in 30 seconds, but it did, given the identical time stamps…sorry about that.