Rally DogShe always looked as if she had just put fresh eyeliner on her golden eyes.A special Rally DogNothing bothered her and she loved wandering around the yard.Vickie's Camera 044She was always a very happy dog with a most beautiful coat.

Vickie's Camera 013In her prime she would stand guard at the top of the stairs.

MamaCatShe was happy to share her rug with a pregnant Little Mama cat.

IMG_0053And equally happy to share her carpet with Pookie, an older lady cat.

photo 100Monkey cat loved her,

photo 102And loved to rub on her

photo 103As they strolled around the farm

photo 104I think he felt he needed to keep an eye on her

photo 105to be sure she didn’t get into a paddock by mistake.

RallySince her coat was so thick and long I had to clip it for the summer.

Vickie's Camera 013 (2)But it came in handy when we lived in Canada.

Time Sneaks Up On Us All

Over the past several weeks (months really) I have watched my beloved friend deteriorate to the point where she tripped over doorsills, could not stand without trembling and shaking, and paced in pain and discomfort through the night. Finally, through my dense brain and the belief that I could ‘fix’ whatever was wrong with her, came the realization that she was not going to get better.

So….how do you say good-bye to a devoted friend that trusts you implicitly, never complains, would follow you to the ends of the earth as long as she was able to stand and breathe? How do you decide to end a life? How do you know when it’s time? Is it better to end the life while dignity remains…before incapacitation reaches a point that is embarrassing for the animal?

I hope I have made the right decision.

I hope my Rally Dog is in a good place, enjoying playtime before agility class, riding in a car with her head out the window, eating her own special cup of vanilla ice cream from a cardboard cup, chasing the end of a lead shank, bounding after a flock of turkeys that have had the dumb luck to infringe on her yard, coursing through the woods and looking forward to cookies at the split in the trail, sleeping curled up with Pookie, eating chicken and bouncing along through the tall grass with her ears flopping, dragging her favorite fuzzy toy around and making it squeak, running across a yard covered in 6″ of fresh snow and dipping her head for a mouthful every few steps just because she can, sitting on the porch fulfilling her duty by keeping an eye on the front yard–protecting us from invading squirrels.

I will always remember these things about her. And I’ll remember how she was always happy and ran around with her tongue hanging out of one side of her mouth. I can close my eyes and picture her bouncing around in excitement when I buckled the treat bag on and she knew we were going to agility class. I can feel her nose poking me right in the back of my knee at the most perfectly unexpected time.

She was the most considerate dog.

She shared her food with kittens and cats, let the older cat move into her warm spot in winter, and never got into the cookie bag even when it sat on the porch beside her food bowl.

In spite of blindness and deafness that encroached upon her senses until she traveled in a dark and silent world, she never once threatened to bite any person who surprised her with a touch either when she was awake or sound asleep, whether they were total strangers or well-known friends.

She was always gentle with children, kittens and puppies, and she often settled more aggressive dogs at agility class.

Those are memories I will hold close in my heart of a soul that was always there for me through the worst devastation of my life and through some of the happiest times of my life. A steady light that kept me going when I wanted to stop, comforted me when I felt more alone than I could handle, and looked after me without judgement or expectation and with eyes filled with trust and faith that I would always do the right thing.

Goodbye Rally Dog.

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