I find little strands of Hope almost every day even though she hasn't lived here for nearly a year. When we first got her, Hope used to go running beside me as I rode my bicycle; as she got older, she didn't like that so much any more, and over time she pretty much settled down to slow walks sniffing everything along the way. She was a collie-dog - not a small animal - but she loved to sleep in the bed. This was not convenient, but she was so sweet that we bought a king-sized bed just so she could continue to sleep with us... and so we could fall asleep even while she hogged the bed.
Kij was such a wonderful doggie-mom. Thank you, Kij, for taking care of our girl as a single mom, for letting her play at the dog-lounge so often, and for doing the right thing for Hope even though it is such a hard, hard thing to decide.
We talked about this several times over the last few days, and I felt comfortable with the decision to let Hope go. She had reached a place in her life when her phobias and other anxieties seem to have started really taking over her mind, causing her to have big problems even without outside causes (like thunderstorms). When I heard how easily she went, I felt relieved, not sad. Only now, when I'm alone after friends have left the house, am I finally feeling that she is gone, and I'm so suddenly sad. Why is this? I haven't seen her for more than a few days since last year, but she's always been my doggie, too, I guess, and a hope_dog still in the world meant that she was still in my life, I guess.
Hope got her name from the people at the Lawrence Humane Society shelter, because she was already an old dog when we got her, scraggly and with bad teeth, and they hoped someone would adopt her before she had to be put down. I hope she's having fun playing in fields with no more pain and no more fears and all the baked chicken she can fit into her belly.
Anyway. Message to the universe: No more taking away our little furry companions for a while, okay?