Today’s post is dedicated to Squirt, my first dog, who passed on April 14, 2000.
I was looking for a dog who I could take to the stable with me and who would enjoy going on trail rides. My vet told me of a family who had to find a new home for their dog, as they were moving and couldn’t take her with them.
I called and made an appointment to meet Squirt. We agreed our first meeting be in neutral territory – the parking lot of the vet’s office. Mom, Dad, Son and Squirt vetted me out for over an hour, and then they came to my house to check out my surroundings and Squirt’s potential home.
I passed all tests and Squirt came home with me.
My life changed for the better when she entered my life. She was sweet and gentle, and loved me with a depth I can only hope I matched for her. She greeted each of my music students as they came to the door, and welcomed them to her home. As sweet and gentle as she was, she would ferociously stand between me and anything she perceived as a danger to me. A brave, loving, loyal girl.
She loved going to the stable and going on trails. Her horses, Casper and Shiloh, were her guides – she followed them faithfully.
One Friday morning I noticed she was having a difficult time going to the bathroom. Because I didn’t want to risk the cost of a possible emergency vet trip over the weekend, I called Squirt’s vet to have her checked out. Since I had a previous appointment at the only time they could see her, they agreed to let me drop her off, and I could pick her up after the appointment.
When I came back for her, the news was bad. In the two months since she had her yearly physical, a fast growing tumor the size of a baseball had appeared.
There was nothing the vet could do. None of the choices they gave me were good: I could take her immediately to the University of MN for emergency surgery, which would only prolong the death process; I could take her home for one last weekend and bring her back on Monday to have her put down, or I could put her down then and there.
As difficult as it was, I decided to put her down that day. I couldn’t prolong her agony. I was fortunate enough to be able to be with her, holding her, as the vet gave her the shot.
When I would leave the house, I would always tell Squirt “I’ll always come back for you”. I am thankful that I could keep this promise to her to her dying day.
Here’s to you, Squirty. You are one loved girl.