Sandy, The Best Girl Dog Ever

A little over seven years ago, Tony and Sandy came to live with us after 6 months in foster care. They were a little nervous at first we could tell, but they enjoyed the treats and the toys we had in the hosue to welcome them and on the very first night, sitting in the basement on the floor Sandy rolled over and let me pet her belly. "Yes," she seemed to say, "this is home!"

For six years we laughed at her antics, her oral fixation - she really would lick anything, including the air - her bad breath, the way she'd box Tony and leap over him to get through a door first. During walks, she insisted on smelling every blade of grass and peeing on every tree and sometimes I just wanted to choke her but she usually ended up choking her self pulling on the leash so hard. I'd just roll my eyes and mutter, "Slow down!" She loved chasing squirrels and running on walks and she and Tony never seemed to realize that they were getting old and couldn't really climb trees.

No matter how irritating she was out on walks or how weird she was sometimes in the house, her big brown eyes and soft ears never ceased to melt my heart and make me feel great.

Which is why when we found out last July, just after her 13th birthday, that she was very sick with kidney failure, Dan and I both simply cried and asked, "What can we do?" And so began six months of daily medicines, daily injections and a mini-roller coaster ride of how well is Sandy today. Some days she was great and you couldn't even tell she was sick. Some days were rough.

And while we knew that the treatments were buying her time we also knew the end was sooner than we could bear to think about it. And then finally, it came. After many trips to the vet, after adjusting meds and experimenting with foods, after more than tripling her fluids, last week we knew she just couldn't go on anymmore. We agonized. We cried. But we had to to stop thinking of our pain and think of hers. And so, on Tuesday, January 20, we took one last trip to the vet and Sandy very quickly and painlessly, went to sleep very peacefully in my lap.

She isn't suffering now. She isn't limping or having trouble with food anymore. She's chasing squirrels and climbing trees and running the way she did when she was young. She's licking everything in her heaven and having a blast.

She's not just at peace, she's in joy now, and that's how I will think of her.

Sandy, The Best Girl Dog Ever

There isn't much that I can add to Beth's blog except to thank her.

I struggled a lot with Sandy's illness and especially the decision to let her go. Even though Beth was hurting as much or more than I, she shouldered the bulk of the burden to try to ease things for me.

The strength that Beth showed in Sandy's treatments, through accompanying her at the end, is something that I admire, that I envy, and that I am so thankful for.

Sandy, thank you for six wonderfully neurotic and adorable years.

Beth, thank you for your strength, empathy, and compassion.

Sandy, The Best Girl Dog Ever

Rest in peace, Sandy.

Sandy, the best girl dog ever

She's a sweet girl and will be missed, but she knows she's loved.