Thursday, December 21, 2006

Abby 1993-2006

Abby died one week ago today. I've yet to download the last images of her, as it still breaks my heart to think about it. Just about every time I take Teeva out, I think of her and my eyes well up.

She was my companion for nearly 12 years. Four times longer than I've known my wife. Six times longer than I've known my son. One-third of my entire lifetime. She will be missed.

I got her from a no-kill shelter in Bumfuck, Indiana. She was one of approximately 200 dogs and 400 cats that were on this farm. The farm was, according to the toothless man running the place, owned by the animals. Apparently, when the owner of the farm passed, she made arrangements for the farm to be owned by the animals. Not a bad deal, really.

I had been in Indy for a couple of months, and my GF at the time had recently arrived to be with me. I think we had been in our apartment just a week when we went looking for a dog. I don't remember much of the details of the search, but somehow, we ended up at this particular shelter. The dogs were all about 4-8 to a 20'x20' or so run, set up in a horseshoe around a larger enclosed area. The first dog we asked about was "unadoptable" due to behavior issues - she was a shelter lifer.

I went one way around and the gf went the other way around the horseshoe, looking for another dog. All the dogs were barking frantically at the strangers walking through their kingdom. Then I saw her. Perched on top of her doghouse like snoopy. Standing, regally, quietly. When our eyes made contact, it was magic! I knew she was the one. We got her out and played with her a bit and fell in love. "Sonja", I think, is what her name at the time was. We were told that she was about 1-1/2 to 2 yrs old. She had come from a family that had had her for about a year before bringing her to the shelter 'cause she just didn't work out, and had been at the shelter for a good six months. Now, anyone that knows Abby would have to ask, "what do you mean, didn't work out". We never got an answer, but we figured she must have been beaten by her previous "family". Whatever the reason, we signed on the line and were told to come back in two days.

Two days later, the gf went to get her. It was the middle of January, the temperature had dipped into the teens (during the day!), the wind was blowing and it was snowing outside. She saved Abby from the weather and brought her home.

She'd been with me ever since, from Indiana, to Vermont, then back accross the country to California, where she lived out the rest of her life. She's been to both coasts, numerous mountain ranges, parks, lakes, rivers and reservoirs.

She spent the last hours of her life in our garden. She wanted to be alone, outside, in the rain. That was the sure sign that it was time. We had a vet come to the house and administer the shots that sent her off for good. She died in the garden, surrounded by those who loved her.

We will pick up her ashes next week and then figure out what to do with them. I'd love to scatter bits of them wherever she'd been, but that won't be possible. I'm sure a few will go in the pacific, some in the atlantic and I want to go back to the green mountains in vermont and drop some there, as well.

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