At 20 years old I was finally beginning to feel settled enough to take on the responsibility of another living being. My father shows, breeds and trains dogs so I put the call in to him for a puppy. "Daddy...?" (said in my best princess gets what she wants tone) "I want a puppy!".
Dad,"Well, I'm gonna need more to go on than that."
Me,"I want a Pomeranian. A small, female, blond, red or tan- show quality puppy. Someday I want her to have puppies."
At the time he was engaged to a Pomeranian breeder so I figured this would be an easy task. I was told that he'd see what he could do. Shortly after that my brother called to say he found a pom in need of rescue. I'm not sure if it was the truth or guilt trip but he told me that his original owner passed away and he went to a not so nice home. He was Male, all black but greying in the muzzle, large for his breed, 7 years old, not even close to show standards and he was fixed. I told my brother no. I wanted to hold out for my perfect dog.
Being the Daddy's girl that I am... when he described the same dog and the situation he was in I caved. He sent me his picture and hesitant but he needed a good home. Heck, at least he got the breed right!
Weeks later I flew home to surprise my family for Christmas and pick up my fur baby. I crept into the kennel entrance waiting for the right moment to surprise my brother when these 2 little hairballs came running and spinning around me. One was my brother's new dog, Contessa. Contessa was only 4 months old, blond, picture of show quality and my brother had the breeding rights. But I didn't care...
Duster knew immediately who I was to him. He just started jumping up and down in front of me and circling my feet. He didn't even care that Contessa has just stolen his favorite toy. Took some effort to catch him because he's not a fan of being picked up, but as soon as I had him in my arms he was all kisses and just very happy to be there. That was 9 years ago this week.
Duster turned 16 in November. His vision and hearing started to evade him last year. now he was running into things and falling down. The recent moved proved too much for my little guy. Hardest thing I've EVER had to do. I didn't want to see him suffer or get hurt worse. His quality of life just wasn't the same. Shane and I took him and and on December 9Th he went quietly in my hands.
If you have never put an animal down let me tell you it wasn't what I thought. The vet was amazing and explained everything. Honestly, I just wasn't' ready for it. It was so quick. She said it wouldn't take long but it was instant. Looking back now I am relieved it wasn't a drawn out process. It truly was peaceful...until the embarrassing display of hysterics that followed on my part.
I am still tearing up as I write this but I am in a much better place. I still forget that I have to pick up the dropped food now because he's not at my feet waiting for it. Occasionally I go looking for him when he doesn't meet me at the door after work. I dream of him frequently and he's young and happy again.