A Most Loyal Friend

June 25, 2016 at 11:12 am (That's not funny...)

She’s been there for the past ten years, sleeping outside my door, or next to my sister’s bed. She came to us a puppy, a few months old. A lady German Shepherd. We spent a week together when the family went to Colorado, and have been best of friends ever since.

She’s not much for going outside. Early on, walks would put her into panic mode. Then we noticed the cataracts. She had trouble seeing, but her other senses made up for it. If strangers stood chatting on the sidewalk in front of the house, she’d be fine. But if they took one step onto the property? Doggie alarm! I understood why Sis wanted a big loud dog. Neighbors probably think we’re Nazi war criminals.

Sleeping Doggie

Sleeping Doggie

A lot of the time she forgets she’s a dog, living with five cats. When Django comes in from the yard, she sniffs him up one side and down the other, in a “Where you been?” vein. Django sashays across the living room like the stud(less) he is, and gives us an “Aah, women” look. Sandy curls back up on the floor, her job done.

She sleeps outside my door a lot, as mentioned. When she’s not diagonal enough, and I need her to move, I do a Roadrunner-ish “Beep-beep.” She leaps to attention and lets me by. Then reassumes her position, guarding my room. But if that dog isn’t right in front of me, I cannot make that sound.

She has watched the kids grow into young adults, loving them unconditionally. I’ve seen her groom cats. I still remember the time she tried to tell me she needed to go outside, and I didn’t get it. When she eventually had an accident in the hallway, she gave me the most apologetic “I tried to tell you” look. I couldn’t be mad, and I cleaned up like you would your child. I could tell she was embarrassed, but I reassured her I wasn’t mad. How could I be?

Despite being blind, she had the kindest eyes. They remind me of my older sister’s. I’ve only seen her upset once or twice, she can be scary as hell if she wants.

Today, she’s not feeling very scary. When I came out to use the bathroom this morning, she was sleeping in front of my door. Sister had thrown a blanket over her. I scratched her ears, and she wiggled them and raised her head a bit to acknowledge me, but she wasn’t getting up. She’s been there for several hours, and seems happy enough just trying to sleep. But we keep waking her, telling her how much we love her. We may not have much longer. When I started the yard work a while back, I hadn’t done it so Sandy would have a resting place, but things have a way of working out. I’d cleared a spot near the pet sematary, and that’s where our dear Sandy will be.

I love you, you stupid wonderful dog. I never feel alone in the house, thanks to you. But no matter how many humans or critters are around, it’s going to be a lonely place around here for a while without you, my most loyal friend.

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