I knew from a very young age I loved animals. I’m a sucker for a pair of big, round eyes that look at me lovingly, for the four-legged fur ball that drops a toy at my feet urging me to play, or a goofy grin and wagging tail that greets me after being gone for no more than five minutes. So it is with great sadness that I learned today my lovely sweet little Katie dog won’t be around much longer. Katie has been a fixture in my life more more than 11 years and has been my son’s faithful sidekick since he was two. She has a cancerous tumor in the roof of her mouth that has grown into her nasal cavity and is blocking her airway in her throat more and more each day. The vet gave her “probably a month” to live.
My eyes are red and swollen from a day of crying. But I’ve also smiled for the years of happiness she’s given me and the memories that will live on. I will miss her curled up under my chair in my home office and our morning ritual of her waking me up at 5:00 am so she can burrow under the covers at my feet until I’m ready to start my day. I will miss her following me into the kitchen every.single.time. so she can be the first to pounce on any falling crumb. She has a fear of beeping sounds, loud noises and alarms. I will miss her running to find me as she hears them so that I can protect her from the non-existent danger.
Katie is the alpha sister to two Boxer dogs and never lets them forget she is Queen of this castle. It’s funny to watch the larger dogs succumb to her dominance. If she wants the toy she’ll take it. If they have a problem with it, tough. She was here long before them and she knows it. But as sassy as she is with the Boxers, she’s equally a snuggle-puss that will curl up between them for hours. They’re buddies first and foremost. I know they will miss her too.
I travel often. The minute Katie sees me bring out a suitcase she’s stuck to me like glue, literally following me at every step. She knows I’m off on an adventure and doesn’t want me to leave her behind. There have been times where she’ll simply curl up in my suitcase as if to say there’s no more room for clothes; only her. But this time it’s Katie who’s packing a bag and not taking me with her. I wish I could crawl up next to her and tell her not to go. But she will. She’ll leave me behind with all my memories and me waiting until we’re home together again.