Dogs, they are man’s best friend.
They are our hearts… funny, smart, frustrating, a lot of work and always love us unconditionally. Our furry friends come into our lives in many ways. By our choice, by luck or by accident.
Miss Meg came into my life accidentally. Never having had human contact until she was 6 mo. old, she was dumped at a shelter, by we will never know who. Her and her sister were pulled from the shelter by a rescue group I was fostering for at the time. She was so fearful, terrified of humans and their touch. Brought to me to foster, who knew then, that the rescue group would disappear, leaving me with 3 of their dogs that I was fostering for them at the time. All of whom were fearful of people and would never be able to be re-homed successfully.
I am sure I have told this story many times over the years. What was I do to with three dogs that were so scared of the human touch, that they would be put down in a shelter?
Well, I kept them and vowed to take care of them until the day it was time for them to fly over the rainbow bridge.
Meg was the last of that crew. And it was her time to say good-bye yesterday. Little girl was about 14.5 years old. She had a good life here. She was never asked to do more than she could tolerate.
When friends came over, they knew the rules of my home. No touching, calling or grabbing for my dogs. If the dogs decided on their own to walk up to a human, they received treats. No pets unless they indicated they wanted that. When Meg was younger, she would come out to visit the humans. She loved the treats and would not mind being petting for small snippets of time. She did the same to me, asked for pets when she wanted them. Otherwise, she did not have to be touched.
She and Vincent (one of the other permanent fosters) had a great connection. I would walk them both together. They had such good rhythm together. Not pullers, but good leash walkers. And Meg would not mind hanging out on a restaurant patio with me as long as no one touched her.
In the last year, I started to see a lot of changes in Meg. While she was happy, it was getting harder for her to get up and down, stairs were getting more and more difficult and dementia was setting in. She seemed to always be hungry, no matter when she ate. And she would do funny things like bark at the front door when I was coming in the back.
I get asked this question a lot. How do you know when it is time? Well, it’s the same question I ask. How do you know? My vet says it is always better a day to early than a day to late. And after having so many animals, I have to agree with that theory. I usually track the good days and the bad days. When the bad days are more than the good, then it is time to start thinking about when there is no longer good quality of life.
I had been watching Meg, and in reality, she told me when it was time. She was ready to say good-bye.
Damn it hurts. No matter if you know it is coming or it is sudden, it hurts all the same. I loved, cared for, and protected this girl for close to 14 years. How can her leaving not hurt!
My vet is wonderful and kind, and Meg flew over the rainbow bridge easily and peacefully with her head in my lap. I will forever be grateful for all that she taught me. Without her and all the rest before her, I would not have the knowledge and insight to dog behavior that I have today.
Thank you sweet girl, for loving me the best you could and being part of my family. You will be missed but not forgotten. Sweet dreams Meggy girl.
February 2004 – August 3, 2018