It's ironically tragic that last blog's entry mentioned our dog. Tonight, she's finally at peace. She's been hurting a lot lately, and we've done our best to keep her comfortable... but the thoughts have lingered hard and heavy at what point we'll have to intercede. Tonight, when she began seriously limping, John and I agreed it was time. The vets at the pet hospital all agreed, and she fell asleep for good with her head nestled between her paws, hurting no more.
Sierra, esentially adopted us. Seven years ago, we were given the opportunity to move into my grandparents' rental and before moving in, decided to check the place out. The current tenants showed us around, and abruptly warned us about the fierce looking "wolf-dog" in the garage that really wouldn't hurt a fly. They explained that they guessed she was about 7, and believed her mom was all wolf - and her dad was australian shepherd/husky. She had crystal blue eyes, and looked like a wolf - quite pretty....but not at all what I would have had in mind for a dog for our family. However, the tenants couldn't take her on to their next place of residence, and before I knew it, John had volunteered to take her. I shot him a look that said, "Did I miss something?, Have we talked about this?" And the look back from him said, "Oh please....". At that moment, Sierra seemed to sense it was me she had to convince and proceeded to follow me around making sure her little head was near my hand to be pet wherever I went. That night, we made it official and Sierra became a Riley.
We had so many good memories with her. She came before the kids, so she was our first child, in a way. We loved to get her to howl (certainly the wolf was evident then), and she kept me wonderful company in the days John traveled a lot. She may not hurt anyone, but a stranger wouldn't know that. One winter day, John and I took her to the snow and delighted in watching her run and run and run in the snow, lapping at it - as a wild wolf would. When the kids came, we realized just how great of a dog she truly was as she patiently endured anything and everything their existence meant for her. Less attention, tugging at her hair, less patience with her antics.... but lucky for her, lots more treats with all the things the kids left behind (oh, how she loved treats.....!).
When John took her to the vet tonight, the kids were stoic - their faces sad. I told them it was okay to cry and they both began to bawl - it hit them hard too. We've all loved her so much. We'll miss you Sierra.