Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saying Goodbye to a Beloved Friend...

Our dog, Nugget, died this weekend at the age of nearly 13...

We got Nugget from a pet store in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, in 1996. (Back then, the pet stores in KY sold pets that weren't full-breeds. He was from a litter from a local family dog.) He was supposed to be Alissa's dog - a gift for her 2nd birthday. That day in the pet store, she chose him, and he also chose her.

But, he was everyone's dog. Not just mine, Jon's, Alissa's (and later her sisters') - everyone's.

Though he's lived with Grandma and Grandpa for the last few years, we still always considered him our dog, too. The Army makes us move so frequently, and we never know if the place we live (Army housing, rentals, etc) will let us have a pet(s), so Nugget spent probably half his life at my mom and dad's house.

We were lucky. My parents are the epitome of "animal lovers". They treated him like he deserved to be treated - like a member of their family. My dad faithfully walked him everyday, and they gave him table food and let him lick their dinner plates clean (even though that's probably not recommended by their veterinarian.) He slept in bed with my mom every night and, when he couldn't get up onto the bed, she was always there to lift him up.

Nugget always remembered us when we were visiting. He wagged his tail and laid near Jon or me. He let us love him like no time had passed since we'd last seen him. I choose to believe that he always loved us and somehow understood that we didn't abandon him. Instead, we gave him a second family to love and care for him when we couldn't.

When my mom told me on Saturday that he'd lost his long battle with illness, I'd already known it would be coming soon. But, it still hurt like hell. I cried and cried.

He was loved by so many. Somewhere in doggie heaven I hope he knows that, no matter where he was (with us or with Grandma), we loved him and were so proud to have such a great dog in our family.

He was a special dog and he will be dearly missed. We love you, Nugget!


Krysti said...

He will be missed but never replaced in your hearts. We are thinking of you.
Love, Jackie

RangersGirl said...

Oh, I am so sorry to hear this. Now he is no longer sick and he's chasing squirels and having fun and looking down on you.