She was unplanned. We didn’t want a second dog. We finally knew who chewed the woodwork, tinkled on the floor, and generally wreaked havoc while we were working to keep our pet in the lifestyle it was accustom to.
Nevertheless, she needed a home and there was room at the inn so we took her in. Once in, we found her to be the sweetest, loving, obedient dog we’ve ever had. It didn’t hurt that she shared our love of food and cooking and was the ever present sous chef. She was part Sheba Innu and Chow which meant she was built with short legs and a stocky body. When she chased squirrels she looked and sounded like Pumba the wort hog from The Lion King. Her name was Sheba.
Her life with us brought laughter, joy, and unconditional love. We later adopted our dachshund, Heidi who had been emotionally scarred from being used as a “breeder” for five years in a puppy mill. Sheba became her anchor, her teacher, her safe harbor. Sheba was the mother Heidi never had.
As the years rolled by Sheba developed multiple benign tumors which we removed. Later her short legs made it difficult for her to lift up her stocky body without assistance but once on all fours she managed to walk and of course get to her food and water bowl. Recently she developed mammary cancer and these were tumors that we wouldn’t remove because of her advanced age and deterioration. She managed at first with medication but soon we found her easing into positions ever so carefully. We knew, despite medication, she was in pain. Two days before Hurricane Matthew, the time had come to end her discomfort.
Because she was so sweet and gentle we wanted her to pass in a calm and gentle manner as well. Her visits to the vets were always fraught with anxiety and so we looked for a way that her last breath would be at home, without fear, surrounded by all that loved her dearly. Lap of Love sent a licensed vet to our home. We, including Heidi, said our goodbyes sitting around Sheba who was on her mat in her favorite place in the family room. It was a small gift to give her for all the joy that she had brought to us over the years. While we mourn her passing, I rest in the knowledge that she no longer suffers.
Yes, she was unplanned and we weren’t looking for her. But we are so glad she found us. Her absence in our home is palpable but her presence in our hearts is forever.