How does one say goodbye to a dear friend when one doesn't even know that friend is dying?
We had to rush our older dog, Jingle (Newfoundland/Retriever), to the Animal ER last evening because she had suddenly become unresponsive. It turned out she had an infected uterus that went septic and killed her. We had no idea that's what was going on.
I told the vet that yesterday had been a normal day for Jingle - playing with our other dog, Jack, barking for treats, brushing up against me for "doggie massage", barking at passing cars, etc. She even went on a ride with me to get my daughter from a friend's house. Then, a few short hours later, she went into cardiac arrest and died.
We had Jingle since she was a puppy. We went and picked her out when she was only a month old. She was born on my daughter's birthday, October 31, in 2001. She would have been 9 years old this year. We named her Jingle because we got her at Christmastime and that was the only Christmasy name we could all agree on. She loved to swim, snuggle, steal food off the counter, go for walks, rides and runs. She was a long-haired black dog. She was beautiful.
When Jingle was only five months old, we had her at a park. A little girl came up to her and petted her and said, "She's so soft and fuzzy!". Jingle would readily stop our walks and sit nicely for the little kids to pet her. She loved to run in the ball fields at the park
She missed her calling as a bomb-sniffing dog. She would always sniff through the bags of groceries we brought home, looking for treats. She loved pigs ears, peanut butter, cheese and pizza "bones" (crusts).
She shed like the dickens, drooled when she ate and had to drink water out of the bathtub. There were many times when I would walk past the bathroom and see her standing in the bathtub, waiting for someone to come turn on the faucet for her to get a drink. Ah, the disadvantages of not having an opposable thumb.
She was generous in allowing me to sleep in her bed at night. She claimed it during the day, sneaking into my room when I was at work and sneaking back out when she heard me pull up in the driveway.
She hated thunderstorms. She was terrified of them. She could hear thunder long before we heard it. She learned that lightning preceded thunder. She could spell, so we'd have to invent code words for things like doggie treats (code word - DTs), walk (code word - exercise), ride or bye-bye (code word- car), vet (code word - doc). She always knew what I was saying and I knew what her barks meant.
She loved to have her back scratched, to be brushed, to be loved on. She was a very social dog and was most happy when her "pack" was home. One day, she had gotten out and returned to us with a dead squirrel. She was just providing for her pack.
We will miss our dearest friend. She was a member of the family. I would refer to her as my "canine child". She was the best dog ever.
Yes, Jingle, all dogs go to heaven. I know you're there now, chasing squirrels. I miss you.