By anybody's standards, was a good life. A wonderfully full, active, always loved life. So many wonderful, cherished memories!
I have no regrets...
As I write this post this morning, I am a bag of mixed emotions. I am heartbroken, and sad; but also oddly at peace. My beautiful girl slipped quietly into her final rest last evening at home, on the couch. It was so peaceful and so quiet that I had to keep checking to make sure she wasn't just sleeping. She was as beautiful in death as she always was in life. Oh my, how I will miss her. She has been my constant companion for almost 11 years. And I do mean constant. The only time she wasn't with me was 5 years ago when we were on vacation in Hawaii for a week. And even then, we had a friend stay at our home with the dogs where they would be most comfortable.
I've never had a dog who fussed and worried about me, like Annie did. It was as if she were my guardian angel or something. She was always watching me. Even if I was outside for a short while, my hubs would tell me that she was waiting by the door, listening intently for my return. She followed me around every morning keeping tabs on my comings and goings as I got ready for work. When she sensed that it was almost time to leave, she'd plant herself squarely in the middle of the kitchen floor where I had to step over her to get anywhere. She wasn't about to be left behind.
She was as good and kind as any dog has ever been. She was gentle and loving and smarter than a lot of people I know. I always said she was perfect, and in my heart I truly believe that she was. She never, ever did anything wrong that I can recall. Even as a puppy. She was an old soul and made me a better person just having spent time with her. I will cherish her memory for all time and will be eternally thankful to God for choosing me to be her guardian. What a gift she was. :)
Although I'm filled with a sense of loss, I'm also at peace because I know she was ready. She had a couple of cheeseburgers for lunch yesterday and we took a drive out in the country so she could poke her nose out the window and enjoy a few sniffs. Last night when we got home, I gave her a couple of pain pills to get her dozey and she enjoyed a bowl of vanilla ice cream. She loved ice cream! We snuggled on the couch in front of the pellet stove until LeAnne arrived. I have never in all my life witnessed such a peaceful death. And for that, I will also be eternally grateful. My girl was tired. She had fought the cancer valiantly, but in the end, she was ready. We laid her to rest under the plum tree in our back yard where I'll plant some beautiful flowers in her honor. We'll miss her so much, but it was time to say good-bye.
Ruby is a bit quiet this morning, but she said her good-byes as well, and seems to understand that Annie is gone. I sometimes believe that animals have a far greater understanding of death than us people ever will. So for us, life will go on. Ruby and I will go for a walk at lunch time today and breathe deeply, and give thanks once again, for the gifts He gives us.
I have taken more pictures of Annie than anyone or anything else over the years because she just could not take a bad picture. She was so photogenic, and her lovely personality and kindness always showed. How could I not? These are but a few that I have, but I will cherish them always.
Hug your loved ones today, hold them close and appreciate the beautiful souls you have in your life, for they are precious.
We will be together one day soon Annie, I believe that with all my heart...rest until then.