All Dogs Go To Heaven
I went through the Fire Academy almost 14 years ago (I was 20 years old). When I graduated, I bought my first townhouse and almost immediately bought a dog. It was around Christmas time. There was a breeder in Howard County that only had litters once a year. I went with the interest of getting a little girl pup. There were 3 girls available. I chose the one that put her little paws around me and basically gave me hug. She was so shy and sweet. I named her Savannah and called her Savi for short.
Over the next few months she ate pretty much everything as Labrador puppies do. She ate the baseboard in the kitchen, the dining room table and my shoes. She once at my softball glove which didn’t go over very well. We did everything together. She slept in my bed, we played fetch with the stick, she stood outside of the batting cage (she didn’t need a leash…she was a good dog!) and I always took her in the car with me. It was just me and her. Just the two of us. We grew up together.
As life does, it goes on. So I married and we moved. She was okay with another person in the house because she could still sit on the couch and had someone to pet her. Then came the twins Madelyn and Grayson. Savi looked at me when I came home from the hospital kind of like “really”? “I was okay with the guy, but now kids??” She stared at them for a few days, but then she laid around them…then she protected them. They became her kids. As the kids grew up, she learned that they weren’t so bad. They played fetch, and pet her and fed her food from the table.
So, here is the really sad part as the endings always are. Savi (and I) got old. Time just flew right on by. She spent almost 14 years loving on me and my family. Greeting us at the door, laying with us, cuddling when there were bad days, listening when we needed to vent and just being there. She was the best dog! She became tired. Really tired. I knew today was coming at some point, but I still wasn’t completely prepared for it. She wasn’t getting up much anymore and she no longer had the strength to greet us at the door. Today, she wasn’t really herself. So Bob and I took her to the vet. It was time. I had a dog before Savannah, a black lab. She passed away when I started the academy. So I waited until I graduated to get another. My dad took the black lab when it was her time because I couldn’t do it. He told me several times over the years that it was one of the hardest things he ever had to do and it broke his heart. Well, here I am. At the same place, but this time Dad isn’t here either. I have never had to go do this, but I owed it to Savi to be there for her. Bob was with me and with Savi. The vet made a big ice cream sundae and I sat on the floor with her while she ate it. So old, in so much pain, but still wagging her tail like she was a puppy. The Vet brought in some blankets and I laid with Savannah while she took her last breaths. Dad was right, it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. We don’t give humans the ability to determine it is time when they are tired, but animals, if they are lucky will have an owner who isn’t selfish and and will make sure they don’t suffer a long, painful death. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, but I did it to put Savannah above my own feelings and sadness. She was tired.
I can imagine my Dad and Savi in the Field Of Dreams playing fetch. She is wagging her tail and is no longer in pain. All dogs go to heaven and I know my dad went to heaven too.