Losing a Pet

Her first time with her feet in the water
She was not impressed that I did this to her.
Our family lost our St Bernard this year to old age. She lived an incredible life, but ran through it much too fast. She was with her pack, her alpha male holding her close, when she passed on.

One moment she was small enough to hold in two hands and the next her head filled my laptop.

I must say our home is extremely empty now. In the last twenty-two years we've always had a pet, adopting her when our first two babies were in their senior years. Every time we turn around, she's missing.

Her trying to figure out why my breath
smells like peanut butter.
She was not impressed that I didn't share.
Owning a pet is huge commitment. But I have to say she made it easy. What a wonderful writing partner she was, walking companion, pillow, and best friend. And her memory was incredible, making her a great and safe pet for small children.

As a family we watched her grow from her puppy stages. She picked us for her family. It was quite amusing actually, to see her leave her brothers and sisters and just decide she was coming home with us. Our daughter and her bonded instantly and really, there was no choice to be made, she was one of us. We got to visit her many times before we brought her home, and every time was the same. She didn't even look back when she followed us to the car and just jumped in like she'd been planning her get-away and wouldn't leave us go again without her..

I can't say she was much of  a guard dog, because really, she loved people. So if someone would have tried to break in, we used to joke that she would have probably met them at the door to show them around. Of course, the wonderful thing about a giant breed is that they look intimidating and not like the teddy bear couch potato they really are. So we were safe with her anyway. Plus, she made a lot of noise when she got up, because she was so big, so there was that.

Refusing to come down the steps on
 her own.
Really not impressed that I wouldn't even
try to carry her.
She had one weakness: cats. Not sure what she would have done if she would have ever caught one, but she would run her short sprint, ears flapping, tail wagging, just happy as can be to be involved in the cliché chase. At first she would drag me behind her, sometimes on my ass. I had to practice letting go of the leash because my instinct was to hold tighter and I pulled quite a few muscles. So, as a family we had training sessions on how to let her go. Not as easy as it sounds, and we still struggle with this. Thankfully, she wasn't a long distant runner and usually gave up chase proud of herself in moments. But! Then every time we passed that spot for months, she'd relive the moment of that chase.

She hated water. Her fear was ridiculous. She wouldn't even go near the bathroom. I finally had to ask other St Bernard owners if it was just her or a breed thing. Turns out many St Bernards hate water. It made baths interesting and I'm sure over the years we gave our neighbours many chuckles since bath day was a family affair that involved bathing suits, hoses, brushes, towels, and a lot of laughter.

Her reviewing my work.
Still not impressed with me.
Sometimes, I see a meme where these dogs are running up and down the steps and the St Bernard won't budge on them. Yup. That was her. What a stubborn gal. But never in a bad way. If anything, she just made us laugh.

I think the best was watching her roll in the long grass on our walks. She made it look like so much fun! What a nut.

Our neighbours got a new pup recently, so she spent her last days watching him play. It seemed to amuse her as she tried to rest, content with life, as if knowing these were her final days.

There's so much to write about, so much she did in her long yet too short life, but most of all she helped make our house a home and we miss her. Gosh. We miss her.

Tell me about a pet that changed your life.


Richard Hughes said...

I've had several dogs in my life. They were all great companions. Too bad their lifespan is shorter than ours.

DUTA said...

Sorry for your loss! Your post is a fine tribute to your beloved pet's memory!
Indeed "owning a pet is a huge commitment". Losing a pet can sometimes throw one into depression (I've seen that happening with older people that live alone).
On the whole, a pet could bring light and happiness into people's life.

Suzi said...

Sorry for your loss. It's always hard. I've had a dog around me most my life, with a few breaks here and there. It's been three years since our dog died, of old age too, and we just got a puppy. And he, like yours, will probably show the robbers around our house too if anyone breaks in. :) But he's cuddly and love-able and I wish I could keep him as a puppy sometimes. :)

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