When my mom and dad bought Abbey for my birthday 12 years ago, they decided not to clip her ears. I’m so glad. When she was a puppy, you’d have to smile when you looked at her because her floppy ears were so much larger than her head. She’d look up at you, and you’d laugh. Not because she looked awkward, but because she was adorable.
I will miss those floppy ears. But more than that, I will miss her heart.
Abbey died this morning. She was such a great dog – but not just a dog. She was family.
She was a lot of things. She was a four-legged doorbell. You knew someone was coming before they even shut their car door because she’d bark to announce their arrival. I always enjoyed coming home, especially when I’d been away for a while, and there she’d be, sitting in front of the window. When she saw me, she’d let out a shrill bark and start prancing in front of the door. She always made me feel welcomed and loved. I tried to make her feel loved, too. Because she was. And always will be.
She was there for a lot of important moments, too. When I packed for college, I walked away from my suitcase for a little while, only to return and find her asleep among my clothes. I would’ve liked to bring her with me. She was there for my wedding. And she was there when I needed her – like when I was sick. She’d sit quietly nearby, and her nearness was comforting.
I wish I could’ve been with her today. At least she didn’t suffer long. She was a playful dog just yesterday, sitting at the table, waiting patiently for someone to sneak her a bite (which we always did). I just wish I could’ve told her again how much I loved her and how thankful I was that she was part of our family. I think she knew. And even though I couldn’t be with her, she’ll always be with me.