About this time 7 years ago Lilo and I finished our 3 week class together at Sa Guide-Dogs.
It was probably the greatest thing I’ve ever accomplished in my life. To know I was going to be responsible for my very own dog who was not a pet was wonderful, amazing, exciting and thrilling all at once.
Everything had to be just right. Whenever we went somewhere I couldn’t wait to show off my wonderful dog. What she did for me was something new every single time.
Fast forward quickly through 7 years.
We moved 3 times. We got a job. We made so many new friends and stayed in touch with old ones. Everyone who knows Lilo loves her. I don’t think I speak to anyone on the phone or via e-mail who don’t ask after her. She was on TV and Radio. She saved my life by breaking hard for turning cars. We got lost together. Once even with a GPs and a broken harness. She learnt tricks and found mine and friends lost objects. Someone still owes her a steak.
She climed on my father-in-law’s furniture. She also walked across the pool net because they wouldn’t take it off quick enough. She sat in my cousin’s fish pond and refused to get out. She also tried to save a Jack ruse from drowning. He was to heavy and almost pulled her under. She raised my sister’s Yourky and my friend’s kitten. Until today she has a mark on her nose where Lana gave her a swipe across the nose. She stayed with us when Lucky died. She got kicked by a horse. She stole Wesley’s steak off the breakfast counter. She got permission to go in to a restaurant even though she was retired.. She was the only Labrador at a German Shepherd show. She snuggled under the covers with me when I was running a temprature
. Afterwards she was so hot that she had to drink water. She was with Rigby on the same bed when he ad a seiczure. She never bit him when he thrashed and kicked her. She was kind enough to share me with many different people and animals through the years.
She taught me patience and to be kind. She taught me there is never just one way to get something done. If you can’t get something out by shaking, chewing or digging, maybe sitting on it might work. All of these things are going through my brain like some freaky slideshow.
Maybe it’s because I realise her time is running out slowly. She tries to be her old self. Every once in a while she’ll let it slip that she’s getting old. Maybe I won’t notice that her trip upstairs is a bit slower. Or maybe I won’t think anything if she jumps on to our bed when it’s thundering. When we come home she doesn’t always wait at the door. We will be inside when she makes her way downstairs. However even with all these things, she will still play. She’s still food crazy and loves to snuggle.
I’m just realising more and more some day all the herbal medicines and powders in the world won’t help any more. One day we’ll loose this battle we’ve been fighting for almost 8 years. Because she can never be just a dog this fight was worth it. Every x-ray or different food or expensive pill is counter balanced by her good and kind heart and her willingness to work, and live and survive. She can never be just a dog. She is “the dog”.
One day we will have to say goodbye, Until then we will live and play and exist and count every single moment. I’m saving them to look back on. Lilo deserves it.