"We had a good run, and now it’s over; what’s wrong with that?" — Garth Stein
Today we had to put our dog Java down. She was 15, with arthritis and dementia, riddled with lipomas (fatty deposits), and in pain. Funny, how all that comes to mind is cliche: she's in a better place now, it was the best thing we could have done, and so on. I think, Oh, I'm OK, and then the tears run down my face.
Java was our training for children. I remember the first night we had her home, and I was teaching her how to go up and down the stairs when suddenly it hit me: I was Responsible for her well-being. I had to teach her how to be safe, to listen, to obey. I had to feed her, and give her water, and exercise her, and comfort her. I sat down on the top step and took her in my lap and promised her I'd do my best, even though I was scared. And we worked well together.
She was very protective of the kids, hated any man with a hat (sorry Mr. UPS man), and loved to snuffle under the bird cage. She tolerated Buck (the frisky 5-year old golden retriever), ignored the cat, and barked at us when we didn't go to bed on time.
Thank you Java. You will be missed.