Today we had Bug put to sleep. It was time. It still hurts.
I currently have 4 dogs and my daughter now has 1. Bug was living with Juls because 2 out of my 4 hate her as much as she hated them. It was a mutual non-admiration society.
Bug was only 4 when she died. It was much too soon. There are good dogs and there are great dogs. Bug was a great dog.
As a puppy, she was thrown out like trash and was found by the guys I used to work with. We adopted her out at the old abandoned plant we were scrapping. She was such a funny puppy and such a great hunter. She spent her days in the office with me and her nights at the guard shack with the guards.
Her greatest joys were "Load up!" and hunting. She was a great hunter. She caught kangaroo rats, pigeons, rabbits, cats, smaller dogs (we discouraged this) and an occasional baby goat. When the guards made rounds of the property in the pickup, Bug preferred to lead the way, not ride or follow...and she could run! I have seen this dog run 25 mph and cut to chase a rabbit I had not even seen. She kept the coyotes away, killed more than one rattlesnake, and provided a sense of security and companionship that could not be measured.
She also loved playing tug of war with semi-trucks and, on one occasion, actually came away with a mud flap. She was always there, good weather and bad, heat and ice, wind and tornado warnings. I loved her.
When she went to live with Juls, she wholeheartedly (and that was a huge heart) adopted my baby and her baby. We thought at one time that she would be happier elsewhere. She walked back, 30 miles in 2 days, to disagree with us. We never tried to make her happier again.
Bug contracted a tick-borne illness and had a cerebral hemorrhage some months back. She had a stroke and ended up blind and crippled. We thought for a while she was making a comeback. We were wrong. Until the very end, she was ecstatic to see us and tried to come to us, tail wagging. Watching her stagger was heart-rending but not as horrible as the possibility of life without her. We finally realized that we will never be without her.
...and, we gave baby Jesus a puppy for Christmas.