Friends for life

March 27, 2010 at 10:06 am 4 comments

My Anna Banana, my best (canine) friend for the past 15 (or 16 … so old we have lost track) years, is getting old. Well, who am I kidding – she’s been old for at least 5 years now. But recently, well, the age is showing in more than just the gray muzzle on her face.

Arthritis has taken over her legs, and some days she can hardly walk. Her legs give out on her. She doesn’t even attempt to get up with out much prodding. She is not very interested in food. And, as much as it absolutely pains me to say so … I am afraid the end is near.

As a result, there has been a concentrated effort to take more photos of her recently. We’ve taken photos throughout her life, but as the end of life nears the necessity of capturing her sweet face is top of the mind.

You may have noticed, if you have been to my blog before … that calling me a dog person would be an understatement. Our dogs are our kids (for now) and loved to pieces. And although I vow to not choose favorites among our kids, when the time comes, Anna is my favorite. The other dogs can move into this position when they have been in my life for as long. My mom and I brought home Anna in 3rd (or was it 4th?) grade. Anna cried the whole ride home, with the stressful cry that only new puppies have as they are separated from their moms. In my infinite wisdom as a 3rd grader, I was convinced I knew the cure – singing her songs from the Lion King. Mom drove us home, me in the backseat holding the 8 pound puppy, rocking her like a baby and singing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”

Anna was such a chicken when we first brought her home, hiding in terror from our Scottish Terrier, Maggie. (This changed quickly as soon as she realized, a few months later, that she was much larger than Maggie.) My parents let me take the day off school to stay home with the puppy. She had cried all night and no one had slept much, but it was heaven – a whole day off school and a brand new puppy to play with. She hid under my robe at the slightest interest demonstrated by Maggie. It was a day of cuddles and laughs and puppy kisses/breath … heaven.

Anna is truly an outstanding family dog. In her younger years, she was always up to playing out in the snow with me, long walks in the woods, tolerated my uneducated attempt at agility training, happily slept on my bed since I was 10, was there for me through my parents’ divorce and breakups with boyfriends and fights with friends. Anna is a dog who loves all but has a favorite – and it’s me. I thought she would never forgive me when I went to college, and the thing that made me most homesick in college was leaving her behind. When I would visit home, she would immediately jump on my lap and refuse to move, as if she were forcing me to stay put and not return. I would whisper in her ear that as soon as I could find an apartment that let me have her, she could come and live with me. I was worried, as she was old even then, that she wouldn’t make it until that became true.

Alas, it’s hard to find an apartment that lets you have a dog that weighs more than 40 pounds. So in September of 2007, just a bit over 4 years after leaving for college, I bought my first house. Right around Halloween of that year, Anna came to live with me. All was right with the world.

You know dogs that just understand how you are feeling? That’s Anna. If you’re having a rough day, or tearful, she comes running to your side, climbs in your lap, licks your face.

Anna is the dog by which all future dogs will be judged. A sweet, gentle, protective soul. An amazing family dog. Tolerant of all people and puppies brought into her life. My best friend for more than half of my life. My constant companion when I was young, the anchor through my teenage years, the beacon calling me home through college, and the grounding force in our household.

Even Rufus is worried about Anna, and has been making it a point to lay near Anna more often.

Thanks, Anna, for being one of the best dogs and friends a girl could ask for.

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Entry filed under: dogs. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Carnitas recipe Poor puppy

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. beemodern  |  March 27, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Beautiful dog photos! I have an eight year old Alaskan Malamute who is aging more rapidly than usual due to an accident a few years back where she injured both of her front legs. (One leg is now permanently straight as it has a steel plate in in.) Anyway, every day is precious! So I do understand your sentiments.

    Reply
  • 2. Millie  |  March 27, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Anna is just beautiful and so precious. I cannot express my love for dogs but you seem to have the same feeling as I. It brought tears to my eyes reading your post as I remembered our Springer spaniel who passed away several years ago. I send kisses to her and you for loving her as much as she loves you.

    Reply
  • 3. Donna  |  March 27, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    what a sweet tribute to a special dog. I too have an aging springer spaniel and treasure every day. I hope you have many more with Anna.

    Reply
  • 4. Karina Guzman  |  March 28, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Anna is beautiful. I got all misty eyed reading about her. I am sure this is all very hard on you. I have a big old Neopolitan Mastiff who is aging fast and isn’t too keen on moving around much.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. It took me forever to reply back to comments as I’ve been outta town. =brightest blessings=
    Karina

    Reply

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About me

My name is Mallory Murray and I have a love of all things oldfashioned. I'm a modern day feminist who also adores Martha Stewart. Read on for my sewing, crochet, cooking, gardening, quilting and crafting projects. I am the chief officer of marketing and design at Northwest Missouri State University, so expect the occasional random post about marketing/universities/design. I dream of a hobby farm with baby doll sheep, a sheep dog, a small flock of chickens, and other animals to be announced. I'm also a Pitt State grad, football lover, HGTV addict and obsessed with the color aqua.

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