April 5, 2014
On Monday, the veterinarian will come to the house, put the dog to sleep and make arrangements for disposal of her body. The choice, made more difficult by the fact that I didn’t expect to have to make it so soon, has left me feeling as though I’m dancing in a dark room without knowing where all the furniture is – torn between the rapid deterioration in her abilities and the thought, (at increasing risk to my own physical health) there should be one more thing I can try that would help her get around a little longer. If there is, I can’t think of it.
Even the cat seems to sense the changes in the dog’s health. The last two mornings, she has come to touch noses with Indika – something she’s not done since Indika came to live with us this last time.
My son and I talked over the decision by phone, agreed it was best for both the dog and me and did our crying together. He was glad it will be done here at the house, where I can be with her at the end . My friend, Kathi, hearing that the decision had been made, volunteered to come over on Monday to give me moral support through the process.
So, with the details taken care of, I’m left with only two things to do – make this weekend as stress-free for both of us as is possible and, since this is my blog and I can write what I wish, to write a loving obituary for our dog:
Indika was born in Ozark, Missouri, in 2002. One of a litter of pedigreed boxers, and the only white boxer in the litter, she was adopted by Rob Easley soon after her weaning. Since she would not be bred, she was spayed shortly thereafter.
Her childhood was spent in various apartments in Springfield, Missouri, where she sometimes accompanied my son on camping and canoeing trips or spent frequent evenings with other dogs at my son’s friends’ houses – romping and wrestling until she and the other dogs were exhausted. As you can see from her picture, she was quite the looker in her youth.
In 2003, my son and I bought the house where she spent most of her adulthood. Although she continued occasional visits with friends, she became more of a stay-at-home dog, patrolling the perimeters of our yard while I gardened (even learning to charge the hose for a quick drink as I watered the garden,) visiting with neighbors that stopped at the convenience store next door, challenging strangers she thought might invade her territory, or racing back and forth along the fence with the dog next door.
When my son worked evenings, she spent the time upstairs in my apartment, looking out over the store and parking lot like a queen surveying her domain. When the store closed for a few months, between owners, she seemed genuinely distressed that her subjects no longer came to visit and was just as genuinely delighted when the store opened again under new management and her loyal subjects returned.
Throughout her life, she was a lady of the highest character – loyal, loving, (mostly) obedient and gentle. She loved my son (and, by proxy, me) with her whole heart, tolerated the cats as part of her family and gave us all that she could to the very end. We will miss her with our whole hearts.
She was the very essence of the Good Dog.