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May 28, 2018

Today I kissed my Sweetie goodbye. Sara was my sweetie. I don't know how old she was, but we had the pleasure of her company for a little over 12 years. When we first got her, she would not get near my bed. After about a week she slept on it every night.

After all the love and caring, she finally got so sick we felt it better that she be put down. It wasn't a particularly difficult decision under the circumstances. But, at the same time it was an incredibly hard decision to make. People who don't have pets won't ever understand. People with pets know (or will probably know at some point) how tough deciding to do the obvious can be.

I'm not writing this to document all the memories that came rushing back after we let her go. The truth is, she's a part of the family. There are far too many memories to flash or to prioritize and so I'm stuck with not seeing her everywhere I look.

I do have a few memories that are significant (well, to me anyway). Essentially, my story of Sara requires 4 memories. My first memory of Sara is meeting her.

Sara was supposed to be my wife's dog. When we went to pick her up from her previous owner (of one day) I saw her. She saw me. And the two of us looked like we had found our long lost best friend. She ran past my wife to me and I ignored the whole world but her. She was my dog.

Sara was an adult when we got her (our vet estimated about 9 years old, but we suspect Sara was actually closer to 4 or 5). Whoever had owned her previously had trained her to NOT lick. And while this is normally a wonderful trait in a dog, it always saddened me thinking how she must have been trained that way. And since I love kisses from my dog, I always missed that. That brings me to my second and third significant memory about her.

I awoke one night to Sara licking my bare back. It lasted all of about 3 seconds (but it seemed like an eternity of satisfaction). My dog "wanted" to lick me and waited until I was asleep so she wouldn't get caught (or at least that's how I prefer to remember it). The other related instance is that upon meeting my daughter, Sara licked her on the nose (once). To the best of my knowledge, these are the only two times my dog licked a person without being coaxed with food.

The fourth memory is kissing her goodbye.

Of course there are a million other memories in between and I get a flash of one or another now and again, but those four sum it up for me. I don't know why and it doesn't really matter. This little bit is about Sweetie in my eyes and that is Sweetie in my eyes.

I didn't really write this for anyone but myself. So if this entry seems entirely self-serving, that's because it is. Sara Sweetie was a beautiful beagle that drove me nuts, loved me endlessly and forgave me always. And I am just the lucky soul who got to love her for a while and an eternity.