I’m writing this post on Thursday afternoon because I know by Saturday I won’t be able to type out the words. Even now my eyes are brimming with tears and my throat is tight. I’ve been choking on emotions for the past three days already, and I know the next several will be even more difficult. But our decision has been made. It has been an agonizing one, I can assure you. Sam and I have both dreaded this day for months – the day we’d have to make the right decision for our beloved collie, Dream. The deed has been done and she’s finally at peace and pain-free.
I’ve posted before the story of how we rescued Dream from a horrid puppy mill while we were living in Maine. That was nearly seven years ago, and I can say that she’s been the best dog we’ve ever owned. In a way it feels like we’ve owned her her whole life, and in her mind I believe that’s true. Certainly the last half of her life has been far superior to the first half and I’m so glad that dogs only live in the moment.
There are so many of Sam and I’s memories as a couple that include this girl. We’ve taken countless walks with her. We’ve watched her tear headlong through the woods of our Maine house – searching for skunks and running her legs off in utter glee. Sam and I were certain she’d run head first into a tree, but she never did. We’ve taken her with us on vacations. We’ve gone hunting and snowshoeing with her. We’ve put her on our Christmas parade float. We’ve even taken her to the beach to chase seagulls and play in the waves of the Atlantic, which was probably the best day of her life.
She’s been an amazing watchdog and protector, but also a constant and loving companion. She and I have spent many lazy mornings curled up together fighting over the same side of the bed! And she’s been my ever vigilant security system during those long, lonely nights when Sam was out of town. A good dog is always better than a gun, at least that’s what I say.
One day, not long after we’d brought Dream home, the UPS man came to our front door. This was unusual to begin with because he always delivered our packages to the back door – in fact, he’d usually leave them just inside the door – in our mudroom – since we didn’t have to lock our house (it was northern Maine after all!). But on this day he was ringing our front doorbell. Sam answered the door and was somewhat shocked to see the UPS man standing there with no package in his hands. After a moment of awkward silence the UPS man broke into an apology. It seems that the day before he’d attempted to deliver a package to us, and as usual he was going to place it just inside our back door. But Dream wasn’t having any of it. Somehow we’d left the door that connects the main house and the mudroom slightly open, and when Dream heard the UPS man opening the back door she charged at him and tried to bite him. To her, he was an intruder who definitely didn’t belong there. The UPS man on the other hand was happy he had on brown pants that day! And here he was, standing at our front door apologizing for scaring our dog, who, according to him “was just doing what she was supposed to do.” He informed us from now on that he’d just leave the packages outside the back door as he didn’t want to have to explain to his boss any further requisitions for new trousers.
So many good memories……
Oh how the years have flown by. Unfortunately, those years were not kind to our girl – especially not this last year. In truth it has been touch and go with her now for the past several months. At one point I solicited a fellow dog enthusiast/blogger friend’s opinion on the matter, and her advice has stuck with me and is partially what helped us to make this final decision. Her advice was for us to pick out Dream’s three absolute favorite things to do, and when she can no longer do two of the three it’s time to start considering the humane alternative. In this last year we’ve seen her lose the desire and/or ability to partake in all three of these particular things. So we knew. It was time. Honestly we’ve known for a few months now and have just not been able to bring ourselves to make the decision. Even though I know she’s in a better place now and not in any more pain I still can’t help but let the tears flow freely. She’s not just a dog. She was our dog – our Dream – a genuine member of our family…….and I’m going to miss her terribly.