I had to say goodbye to one of my dogs on Sunday. One (sounded out as oh-nay) came into my life 14 years ago. She was a seven week old shiba inu puppy whom the owners had bought but hadn’t realized how high strung she’d be. She happened to be visiting the same vet as my dog (also a shiba inu), and when the owners couldn’t take it anymore, the vet reached out to me. Would I like to buy her for $700 (a big discount for a purebred shiba inu in Idaho 14 years ago)? I politely declined, not wanting to make the investment when I was already paying for my other dog’s broken leg. A couple days later, the vet called back. The owners would give me the dog for free if I was willing to give her a good home.
And so, in August of 2005, One came to live with us and became part of the family.
After five years of living among adults, we weren’t sure how she’d handle the addition of kids to the household. But once we brought home our daughter, we knew there wasn’t anything One wouldn’t do to protect her.
She guarded both children through infanthood, keeping a watchful eye to make sure nothing harmed her little humans.
This past year had been a rough one for One. At the end, she was blind, deaf, arthritic, and had a wound on her stomach that wasn’t healing. It was her behavior that concerned us the most. More and more often, she’d act like she was drunk, swaying in place before falling over. We had put off the decision for two weeks before finally agreeing that it was time to say goodbye.
My husband and I have been a wreck all week, but we’ve been keeping composed for the sake of the children. My son asked me last night when the dog was coming home from the animal hospital. I fought off tears when I told him she wasn’t coming home. I think that same realization hit my remaining dog, as he’s been whining and looking out the window as if waiting for her to return. My daughter seems to understand what’s happened, but not the gravity of it.
We love you, One. You will be missed.