My father said that he knew my grandpa was nearing the end when he started to appear translucent.
That notion has always stuck with me and when I “developed” the above photo last summer – photos from our epic trip to Montana with just Sherbie in tow – I knew that she was fading.
If you recall, we rescued Sherbert six years ago this July, and she came to us a hot mess.
She still had the stitches from her latest c-section after being a breeder in a puppy mill, she was terrified of thunderstorms and belts, and her teeth were ground down to nubs after apparently dining on rocks.
We had no idea how old she was or her personality, but when we saw the shape she was in we had no choice but to whisk her away from her past and into our future.
It turns out her personality was amazing: mellow and lovable from Day 1 she defied all the odds of a rescue dog.
In the first week or so she ate an entire economy size bag of kibble and when we saw the immediate and obscene weight gain we were forced to end her cruise buffet.
But she always loved her groceries and the loss of her appetite was a tell-tale sign that something was wrong. About 7 weeks ago her appetite really started to go. Engineer Dan started to feed her kibble by hand and that got us through a few weeks.
Then came the promised ice cream cone:
ED and I have an unfortunate addiction to ice cream and there happens to be a Dairy Queen within wagon distance. Many a summer (and fall and winter) night we would load Sherbert in her wagon
and roll on down to the Dairy Queen. There the local kids would point and pet and smile at the dog in the wagon, but Sherbert only had eyes for one thing: the cone. So I always promised Sherb that one day she would get an ice cream of her very own. Dan always scoffed at the prospect of giving Sherb ice cream, but when the hand kibbling no longer held Sherbert’s interest, one evening Engineer Dan arrived home with a perfectly drippy cone just for Miss Sherb (we gave LB a few licks too and told him he was one lucky dog).
It was everything Sherbert had been been waiting for. She licked and licked and if that dog could have said thank you she would have.
Instead she began to deteriorate more and more and last week we had no choice but to let her go. Dan bundled her up in polar fleece blankets and took her for one long wagon ride, in the rain no less. Then he loaded her into the car for one last drive, through the foothills, her head resting on his leg. And after she ate a few bites of string cheese he said good-bye.
That night Boulder had a thunderstorm; the first I can remember in quite some time.
Rest in peace, Sherbs.