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Ode to a Dog

Recently we had to say goodbye to our dear furry Anova. She was part of our family for 11 years.

Anova came into our lives after my husband took me to the county animal shelter to look at dogs. I didn't think we were going to get a dog. I wanted one, but I wasn't convinced it was the right time. I begrudgingly went along, with no plans of adopting.

"Hey, Ash. Come look at this dog."

I went to the kennel Chris was peering into and was met with a pair of striking ice blue eyes, silver brindle, and a softly wagging tail. Her notes on the kennel said she was a "Good girl. Loves walks." I also noted she had been in the shelter nearly two weeks, and my heart sank. The shelter was packed and most dogs were euthanized if not adopted within two weeks.

"Well," I said, "Let's ask if we can take her to the play yard and see if she's friendly."

Anova didn't really know how to play, but she wanted to. She seemed excited just to be with us and I was won over immediately. She came home with us. The very first night home she "protected" me from the stuffed animal dog I got my husband when his boxer passed away. How could this furry stranger feel like protecting me the very first night we brought her home?

Our good girl brought us many moments of joy and laughter through the years. She was a lovable clown and wanted nothing more than to be with her family. She had the patience of Job when it came to children. She never bit anyone, even though sometimes they probably deserved it! She was always looking after us. She hovered around me during each of my pregnancies to make sure I was ok. If she heard anyone crying, she was right there to check. Once Chris and I were play-fighting and throwing fake punches and she gently grabbed Chris by the arm with her mouth and gave him a hard stare as if to say, "Listen, I love you, but you don't hurt her!" Even though I was in no true danger, she showed her love for both me and Chris by protecting me and being gentle with him. I really can't over-emphasize the goodness of this dog...

Even now, weeks after her passing, I feel the quiet shadow of her presence in our home. I still find myself walking every night to the now empty spot where her food dish sat, expecting to find her waiting there. I still go to the door to let her in. I still wait for her to greet us with her happy tail when we walk through the door. It's amazing how our pets can become such an integral part of our lives and our family.

Anova, we miss you.

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