Last Saturday began as a normal day. As I fed my two dogs and one cat, my oldest dog, Sierra, was behaving normally. She’s been having a really hard time walking due to arthritis and old age, but she has been holding her own even though she’s been getting worse and worse over the past year or so. However, by nine in the morning she’d lost control of her bowels, and was just lying on the floor looking upset and confused. I called the vet and told them what was going on. That afternoon we took her in, determined that there was nothing more to be done, and we had to let her go. I can’t tell you how horrible this has been. While I know that it was the best thing for her, it’s been the worst thing for us. We have been devastated by this. Every time I go through this, I both can’t believe that it’s happening, and vow to have no more pets. My heart is ripped apart, and I feel as though I just won’t be able to get through it. I’ve been crying almost non-stop for days, even waking up crying.
This is the story of Sierra. Our son wanted a dog of his own for his fifteenth birthday. I took him to numerous shelters, however all of the dogs there needed to be the only dog in the family due to previous issues. Since we had another dog and two cats at that time, none of the dogs were a good fit. I went on Pet Portal and found a no-kill shelter about two hours away. They had pictures and histories of all the pets available on their web-site and we found the prettiest mixed-breed dog. Her name was Sierra, and she was available. So, we took a trip there with our other dog (to make sure that they would get along), and met her. She was skittish and shy, but very loving and got along with our dog Shadow. She had had a hard time of it, since she’d been an abandoned dog, and then had been adopted and brought back twice due to her nervous and skittish behavior. However, we just knew that she was the dog for us. And the rest is history. At first, she would “squat and pee” when people approached her due to her fears of being abused. But with time and love she calmed down enough to realize that she was safe. Although for years she was afraid every time she got in the car that she was going to go back to the shelter, she eventually came to believe that we were never going to dump her. She was sweet, and funny. Her favorite thing to do was to hop around on her back legs when she was excited and also when she wanted to see what it was that you were carrying. We called her a Kangaroo due to this, and also due to her coloring. Going for a walk and getting treats were two of her favorite things. She also had a blue ball that squeaked, that we called her “baby ball” since she would walk around with it in her mouth, put it on our laps and we were expected to tell her how beautiful her “baby ball” was. She’d then grab it and jump up on the couch to cuddle with it. She was such a loving and sweet girl.
In our family our pets are our family. They are our children, they are loved and they are a huge part of our lives. There is a hole in my life the size of our sweet and loving girl. Sierra, you have been loved and will be forever missed.