While going through a bunch of stuff in my office, I found a box of unlabeled photo CDs and went through all of them, finally getting them uploaded online, with one being the above photo of a beautiful day at the beach with my girl Daisy I’d not seen. She died 3 years ago this week.
We have a new dog, Ruby, who I still occasionally call Daisy by accident and my husband has to correct me. And I adore our girl. But there’s nothing like your first dog, and Daisy was my best friend who saw me through 9 of her 14 years and 9 huge years in my own life, coming in during my first marriage to sitting by me faithfully during my divorce, to buying my home with a yard and front porch just for her, to being with me in the hospital room where my dad died, to going through her surgery and never quite being the same.
The beach was where Daisy – as many dogs do – was most happy. Like me, she could walk for hours through the surf. While she wasn’t as aggressively jumping into the water like the labradors, she still liked getting her belly wet and carrying sticks and chasing after balls with other dogs. When we first adopted her she could run like the wind, chasing birds and squirrels and cats. By the time I said goodbye, I had to help her stand up each morning.
I made sure her last 24 hours were the best ever, inspired by an article I’d read years earlier about a man who gave his dog a day of fun before he passed, renting a car to go to Sauvie Island to be next to the water and the next morning walking across the street to the cafe for bacon and eggs they made just for her.
When the vet came to the house to do the deed, we laid out her blanket on the front porch so she could fall asleep in the spot she loved most. I played Billie Holiday’s All of Me, and friends stopped by to say goodbye. I hugged her and held her and she licked my hand and rested her head down. It was the worst pain, but I knew she didn’t deserve to stay in the pain she’d been in for far too long. I couldn’t be selfish anymore.
The picture below was taken as she waited for that last breakfast, about an hour before our last goodbye. She still is up on our living room wall in a photo taken of she and I – at the beach of course.
To Bill & Cherie – I think of you and your Ginny this week and send my most heartfelt condolences.
“My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am.”