Sunday, January 25, 2009

Goodbye my dear, dear friend

"...and Enterprise feels like a house with all the children gone."
Captain James Kirk
Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

From Friday

Adopting a dog is one of the most momentous and important decisions a person can make in their life. When you make the decision to adopt a dog it is a life-long commitment. It is not a decision to be made lightly, although from the way some people act, they do take it lightly.

I made that decision in March 1995, and never regretted it.

You can ask just about anyone: Friday and I were pretty much inseparable from then on. When ever it was possible she came with me, many times, in her early years, sitting in my lap as I drove with her head hanging out the open window. After I got my Volkswagen I made her ride in back, which she wasn't always happy about, because I didn't want her to tear the leather, but she still rode with her head hanging out the window when I let her. She loved the wind up her nose.

She also did some pretty dumb things, as dogs are sometimes wont to do. When she was a puppy, not quite a year old yet, she once chased a squirrel off my grandmother's back deck. This might not seem like such a big deal, but the deck was about 15 feet off the ground. She saw the squirrel out the back door so I opened it so she could chase it off the deck. Friday shot out the door and across the deck after the squirrel, which of course just jumped off the deck onto the pine tree a few feet away. Friday, however, kept going. She whooshed right over the edge of the deck, as I watched in shock. I thought she was going to break something when she hit. As she hit the air she stopped barking (I think it surprised her as much as it did me), but when she landed on the ground she started barking again and took off for the back fence like a lightning bolt, not even realizing the squirrel was no where close by now. After chasing around the yard for a minute she pounded up the back stairs to the deck, again, where she screeched to a halt in front of me and plopped down, exhausted, panting, tail wagging so fast I could barely see it but no worse for having just fallen 15 feet off the deck. She never did do that again, though. That's my favorite story, if you couldn't tell.

From Friday

But, as with all things, our relationship had to come to an end.

She had been very sick the past few weeks, and I had been very worried about her. We had been back and forth to the doctor several times. This past Friday, the 23rd, we found that she did have cancer after all. Some previous tests did not turn it up, but additional x-rays found it. I won't go into the details but she wasn't going to get better this time. So I had to make one of the toughest decisions of my life. I could not let her suffer any longer.

So, appropriately, on Friday afternoon I held her in my arms and talked to her, telling her how beautiful she is, and she went to sleep and left me. The last thing she felt and heard was me, telling her she was safe, and loved, and not alone.

Goodbye my dear, dear friend.

From Friday

If anyone reading this is considering adopting a dog in the near future, consider adopting from a local shelter. Also, consider adopting an adult dog. You don't have to get a puppy for the dog you adopt to love you unconditionally for the rest of their lives. Every year thousands of adult dogs across the country are euthanized because the shelters can't find homes for them. Please, don't let this happen to them. Adult dogs are just as loyal as puppies will be, and you can train them contrary to the popular myth.

Do not buy dogs that were breed by puppy mills. The breeder dogs live in the most horrendous conditions you can imagine. Buying puppies from these places simply allows the cruel people who run the puppy mills to continue to abuse our friends. Help stop it by adopting from local shelters.

Or if you can't adopt a dog, but still want to be around them, volunteer at your local shelter. They always need help to walk the dogs, keep them clean, and yes, pick up after them.

Dogs depend on us for everything, because over thousands of years we've bred them to. We have a moral obligation to take care of them whenever we can. And, when the time comes, to let them end their lives with dignity, respect, and safety.

From Friday


  1. This was a really nice, beautiful and painful post. Like I've said, I'm sorry you had to do this, but she was loved and safe the entire time with you, as you said.

  2. I am very sorry that you had to go through that, but I admire you and the strength you had to let her go. I'm not sure if I would ever be strong enough. Friday seemed like a beautiful dog. When I was 13, my bird Bizket became ill, she was sick just 2 days before she died. I suspect now that she may have been egg bound. I remember the literal heart ache I went through when I lost her, she was my world and I still miss her, I am now 18. Just less than a year ago I got a new bird, Scruffy. He is very beautiful. But it had taken me that long before I was ready for the responsibility of another pet, and yet the first night I had Scruffy, I cried because I missed Bizket. I hope that you're okay, and thankyou very much for sharing your story. :)