Tough Girl

She was a shelter dog. A little Boston Terrier that someone, for some reason, didn't want any longer. We took her and she lived a long happy life in my back yard, or inside if it was too cold or too hot for her. She was a warrior, a hunter, a killer, a true wolf when she wanted to be and always the most gentle loving creature to me. She was not even "my" dog, but I loved her. She did what her breed has done for many years before; she defended her territory and backed down from nothing.
She was solid muscle, like a little oak tree stump. She would stay at the bottom of a tree barking at a squirrel until she collapsed from exhaustion. There were times I had to go get her and put her in the garage or house before she died from the heat as she barked and jumped up on a pine tree where some squirrel was hiding. I remember once coaxing away from a tree where she had a squirrel treed and made her to come to the house by using some food as a lure. She fell over half way between the tree and the house, she lay there breathing hard and could not take another step. I picked her up and carried her to the house and put her in a cool place. As soon as she recovered she was right back out there looking for more prey.
Here lately I had carried her a lot. Not from being exhausted, but because she was incapable of standing on her own or making it off of the back porch without falling. Her hard huge muscles had deflated and her skin was loose and sagging on her bony frame. It was hard to watch the last few years. She was an inside dog during that time as she had no need to be outside ridding the world of squirrels, birds, possums or on one occasion, a cat.
I carried her again yesterday. First to my truck where she lay in the seat beside of me as we drove to the veterinarians' office, then into the office and last, back to a room where she would take her last breath.
I was not going to cry; there was no reason to cry, she had a good, fun, healthy life. The doctor did not hurt her. He made sure she was sleeping and comfortable before ... well before she went away. Then, gently and quickly her little heart had to be stopped. Hers was a good heart, beautiful and so strong it had to be forced to stop supporting the body that had long since deteriorated.
I was not going to cry. But there she was, no muscle spasms any longer, no shaking, not struggling to breath, just there, and yet gone. The doctor shook my hand and said something that I don't remember but I could not look at him, I was doing what I was not going to do. I could not stop the tears. I'm not sure if I was sad because I would miss her, if I wish I had done more for her, if she deserved better, or if life is just too short. Nothing philosophical was going through my mind, there were no thoughts at all except "shes gone now".
I wish I had paid her more attention.
She was a good girl.
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3 Responses Jun 12, 2011

some day i will tell you about my first boston...and my second and third. right now, imma go hug #4..

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Great story! Sorry you lost your dog. I had two Boston Terriers I had to give up with divorce. I would love to get another one someday. Hoping I can rescue one like you did. You did the right thing not letting her suffer any longer.