Treats and Snoozin’. Snoozin’ and Treats.
On Thursday, September 20, after nearly 14 years of love and napping, we said good-bye to Donald Dog.
From the time he was a small pup, Donald spent approximately 85% of his time laying on the heating vents around the house, warm to the touch and a bit dehydrated, but snug as a bug. Often there would be a stolen throw pillow arranged neatly under his head—casually—almost as if, if he was careful not to mention it, no one would notice it was there.
Donald was the best of companions, known among other things for his keen attentiveness to his humans’ health. There wasn’t a time when Mom sneezed that he wasn’t immediately by her side, a look of quiet devastation on his face that said, “Margaret. Margaret, we nearly lost you there. ARE YOU ALRIGHT?”
Donald was a classy—if not a classic—lab who never really got on board with the concept of being outside. On weekend minibreaks to Camano Island, he would wade gingerly out into Puget Sound, chest-deep in frigid salt water, and gaze back over his shoulder as if to say, “I’m not sure what’s so appealing about this scenario. How about a glass of chardonnay and a back rub instead?”
He spent the last third of his years basking in the glow of condominium life, arguably the best thing that ever happened to the little guy. The move from a house with a large backyard into a condo was an upgrade he embraced with a vengeance. No longer would anyone expect him venture out into the rain unaccompanied to take care of his business. And now, instead of in-floor vents he napped with his face pressed contentedly against the gas fireplace.
This was our boy who loved to be with his people, who used to leap five feet into the air any time he was left outside alone for more than a moment. Our boy who would spend nights propped up against my parents’ bedroom door, just in case he needed to be available at a moment’s notice, should they suddenly decide to let him in.
His love languages were grunting and nudging and he spoke them often and well. Now that he’s gone, I just don’t know who will put their face on my chest, furrow their brow, and gaze into my eyes while I lay on the couch watching What Not to Wear.
I’m especially thankful for Mom and Dad and all the care they gave Donald over all his years. I’m also grateful for Guide Dogs for the Blind who, by fateful chance, gave us baby Donald, and then two years later gave him to us for keeps.