Thursday, August 14, 2008
Rest in Peace
Actually, we don't really know when Bonny was born. She'd been an abused dog; my wife got her from the humane society. She had relatives that worked there and said that she might make a good dog for us. They'd taken her from a home where she'd been locked in the closet with a half dozen or so of her puppies. The puppies, thankfully, were all adopted prior to Kim going to meet her. She was our Valentine's Day gift to each other soon after we got married.
They were wrong about her being a good dog for us, though. She was the best.
Quiet, gentle, and friendly, Bonny weathered all manner of changes with us--new homes, new jobs, new babies, life and death. In great health for most of her relatively long life, this year was a bit of a struggle for her, she had developed a number of ailments that meant that she would not be with us much longer.
A month or so ago I took her out for one of our midnight walks, and somehow she slipped the leash. I live next to a very busy street (even at midnight), and in the past her infrequent escapes would be major cause for alarm, and I would typically give chase as soon as I knew that she was "off the hook", usually catching her in an open field about a half mile down the road when she was too tired to run anymore. I was always amazed at how my fury and rage at her unwillingness to stop would give way to thankfulness that she hadn't been squished by a passing semi the moment I scooped her up in my arms.
Anyway, a month or so she got away. You'd think I'd be able to outrun an arthritic, 112 year old dog (human years) with kidney problems, but not so. She was off like a shot, the Bonny of old, and down the hill before I even knew she was gone.
I didn't take after her that time, I just sat down under an apple tree in my yard. About twenty minutes later she came bounding up the hill, a look of pure joy on her face as she slathered me with her tongue. This was a dog who had not been able to get up the stairs for the past few months, leaping and dancing around like she'd discovered the fountain of doggy youth (and not sewer run-off, like usual). She was spry as a puppy when I brought her inside and gave her a treat, although about ten minutes later she zonked out on her bed and slept straight through until morning.
She looked about as happy as I'd ever seen her after she returned that night, about as happy as she when we first brought her home and she realized that my wife and I weren't monsters who were going to lock her in a dark closet.
I didn't realize it at the time, but now I know that I was every bit as happy as she was.