In memory of

+JMJ+ The best dawg ever would have been nineteen years old today. She left me just a few weeks shy of her fifteenth birthday. Together we had conquered her severe fear of loud noises, dark clouds, strong winds, my absence whether for a day or an hour or a minute, men, men wearing those big puffy parka things, men in hats, or, worst of all, men in big puffy parka things and hats.

We conquered Parvo when she was only a couple of months old. I stupidly didn’t get her vaccinated against it early enough (I was broke), but also stupidly began taking her around with me everywhere I went. I had no idea what all my responsibilities were. I didn’t set out to have a dawg, she just happened to me, but that’s no excuse for not finding out what I needed to know. Our fur friends look to us to take care of them and I didn’t do what I needed to. Hindsight can be a harsh teacher. Thanks be to God (and my dad, a dawg lover himself, who paid for her treatment), we made it through that.

We made it through her bouts of HGE (Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis). The first time it happened she was polite enough to hop into the bathtub while I was gone, and left me quite the surprise to find when I got home. Ew, I remember that all too well!

We conquered her back injury that left her paralyzed in her back legs when she was about thirteen. I had no idea when I put that ottoman at the end of the bed that she would try to use that instead of the steps that she and her sister had been using to get into and out of said bed. She launched herself down to that ottoman and onto the floor and I can still hear her cry of pain like it was yesterday.

The emergency surgery didn’t help much, but even so, after some time to heal, she could scoot around on the floor with amazing speed, especially if a treat was in the offing. In her custom wheelchair she could run almost as fast as she did before the injury. After I finally got her to use it, that is.

We conquered almost everything that came our way until cancer came along. And that was one foe we could not overcome. I’d been in the hospital myself for a couple of months and by the time I began recovering and realized anything was wrong with her, it was already too late, the cancer had spread too far. 

I spent that last week trying to memorize everything I could about her, everything I hadn’t already memorized. My friends brought their dawgs over and we threw an early birthday party for her and let everyone say their goodbyes. 

Everyone but me. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. I hoped against hope that there would be some way to conquer this foe the way we had all the others. I hoped for a miracle. But later that week she went downhill fast and began to wail with pain. When she began to bleed, we looked each other in the eye and I knew that the time had come. I promised her that she would not be hurting that way for much longer.

I wrapped her in a towel and picked her up—when did she get so light? I hadn’t been able to lift her in years. The drive to the vet’s office took almost no time at all. How I wished it could have taken longer, just a little more time. When they came out to the car to see what we needed, I said, “It’s time.” 

At least, that’s what I tried to say. My voice broke and I don’t know how they understood me. Maybe it was my face. That was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. To look into the eyes of the one who loved me, and went everywhere with me, and trusted me more than anyone ever has before or since, who knew I could fix anything, who knew I could always make it right.

But I couldn’t make it right. I couldn’t do anything but make the pain go away, but not the way I wanted. 

Dawgs don’t live nearly long enough and they leave us way too soon. I’ll always love you, my little Abby. If there is any such thing as a soul dawg, you were mine. And you always will be. Happy birthday, sweetie. You always were a good girl. The best dawg ever.

Thanks for visiting the blog and reading. God bless you and peace be with you. +JMJ+ 

Videos in the post:

  • 1) Abby doesn’t want any part of those wheels, and
  • 2) Abby can scoot in her new wheels!

There’s probably a better way to post those videos but I don’t know what it is.

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Copyright: All original material on Catholic Heart and Mind is Copyright © 2009-2023 Lee Lancaster. All rights reserved. Read more.

6 thoughts on “In memory of

  1. Marie

    What a beautiful, heartfelt tribute to your dear little love. I know these feelings well, Lee. May we be with them again one day, forever.


  2. cmkrebs1021

    Ohh my dear friend 😔 I’m so very sorry for your loss of Abby Dawg. No words can I give to fill your heart right now, but knowing you are such an amazing person and care giver to you fur family, what you did for her was just amazing.

    A Priest friend told me once that “If Heaven is THE BEST PLACE, THE HAPPIEST OF PLACES then our beloved pets will be with us too.” I believe that!

    Sending you big hugs and my love and prayers 💚🙏



    1. She was such a joy to be around, most of the time, and funny too. What a sassy little rapscallion she was! And so stubborn and ornery, but so sweet and loyal. And fearless, except for the above-mentioned fear-inducing terrible bad awful things like wind, rain, leaves that dared to move–but absolutely fearless if a bigger dawg tried to bully her or got anywhere near me. She had no idea that she weighed only thirty pounds dripping wet. She thought she was a Rottweiler. 😁 Oh, I love that silly dawg. Sigh. Hugs and prayers and love back to you, Christine, and to Carl and Marie, too. ❤️🙏🏻


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