In the past six months my extended family has lost two much-loved members, and I’d like to pay tribute to both of them. In December, just a few days before Christmas, my sister’s family discovered their gentle giant Max, a Rottie, dead, most likely stricken by a heart attack. Just five years old, he had the sweetest disposition of any dog I’ve known. And manners-wise he put Pablo to shame. He wouldn’t dream of begging and often had to be coaxed to take a treat!
And just yesterday my youngest sister’s family made the painful decision to say goodbye to Abby, a rescued pit bull they’d shared their home with for more than twelve years, who’d recently been diagnosed with cancer. Abby was the elder statesman (statesdog?) of our family, a stout-hearted and fiercely loyal dog. True, she and Pablo couldn’t be in the same room (pit bulls are known for being extremely territorial), but they did meet once during Pablo’s puppyhood to romp in the park, a memory I cherish.
Losing one’s best friend has got to be one of the most painful experiences of owning a pet. I still haven’t recovered from the loss of my first dog, Duke, and that was almost forty years ago. So my heart goes out to both my sisters and their husbands and children.
RIP Max and Abby.