Wednesday, April 09, 2008
I've been avoiding this post for several days.
On Sunday, we lost George. Well, we know where she is. Jesse especially knows, as he dug quite a big hole in our limestone yard for her.
She got to go relatively peacefully, and at home, and quickly, and you really can't ask for more than that.
She came to us in 1995, 9 months old, and 9 months after we had to put down my beloved Rema due to an aggressive bone cancer.
Living out in the country with many other dogs, she learned to scarf her food down in seconds lest someone else beat her to it. It took her about 10 years to grow out of that habit.
She was called Lexie when we met her, but we changed her name to George, because she was so big and galumphy.
She was a yellow lab, a breed not known for its ability to reason, maybe, but unparalleled for a mellow disposition and an undying loyalty, both of which she displayed in abundance.
She loved the children, and readily accepted her relegation to second string when Hannah was born. She did miss sleeping in bed with us, though.
She liked to sleep on anything - if we left blocks out on the floor, she would curl up uncomfortably on them. Cushions pushed off the couch were fair game. Even a piece of paper could be a bed in a pinch. Two years ago, we bought her a plush bed and placed it in front of the fireplace during the winter holiday, and she looked as if she could stay there indefinitely.
George was not a digger, as some labs are, but she did have a case of wander-lust. Once, when we lived across from a little league field, after opening day in which fried chicken was sold to everyone who attended, George got loose and gorged on chicken bones. One trip to the emergency vet, an X-ray and some expensive meds later, and she was as good as new.
Another time, we took her to Arkansas to see my family, and convince their horses that she was a horse-eating wolf. I pulled one tick off of her, and not too long after George was unable to stand and her eyes became ataxic. She was diagnosed with Ehrlichiosis, given antibiotics, and was soon back to her cheerful self.
She and Toast were the best of friends - neighbors would joke that they'd seen "Toast and her dog George" as they walked by. They slept together all of the time, preferably in a sunny spot.
It's been strange these past few days without her. I look for her when I come home from work. I step over her now-removed bed. I expect her to be on the floor by my bed when I wake up. Tonight after dinner, I casually wiped the food from Hannah's chair onto the floor, forgetting that George wasn't there to clean up after us.
She was a good girl.
at 6:58 PM