I only got to spend 369 days with my dog.
I met my dog on October 5th, 2014. I run an animal rescue, and she was being surrendered by her owner that had adopted her from us as a puppy. I had just fostered her brother Goose who was surrendered as well. He was an amazing dog that I wanted to keep, but I did not. So when his sister was brought back, it felt like fate.
The below photo was taken the day we met. It actually didn’t go as smoothly as it looks. She tried to bite me, and I had to request her owner put a muzzle on her. After about an hour of decompression time, I could see the change in her body language. I took the muzzle off and we became best friends.
It was decided with her new name that I pay homage to her wonderful brother Goose. Without Goose, we probably would’ve never formed our bond. So here she is, Duck. People always looked at me crooked when I showed up with a hound dog named Duck. I didn’t care, it kind of suited her.
Whenever you have children and you bring a dog home, you are concerned about how it will go. People will tell you how wonderful dogs are with kids, but when it’s your own kid you have to take it slow. I have never seen a dog take to a grabby little boy like she did. And I never will again.
As an animal rescuer, she was my sidekick. I would always try to use her to “dog test” shelter dogs to evaluate them for rescue placement. She had a calm, but playful demeanor with other dogs. Perfect body language. She was good to foster dogs, dogs that were being dogsat, friends dogs. We even had a mini-reunion at the dog park with her siblings.
She was such a good sport.
This was our last photo together. A stupid selfie that was never meant to be posted or shown anywhere. (I’m not a selfie taker) It’s now one of my favorites.
This is not the last photo that I ever took of her, but it was one of them. Turns out she had a liver issue that was likely genetic. The doctor said her body was likely able to compensate the first few years, but it couldn’t any longer. In 72 hours, she went from a happy, normal 2.5 year old dog to a very sick dog who just couldn’t recover. This photo makes me sad, she’s a shell of the dog she once was here.
I had 369 days on this planet with her. I regret not taking more pictures of her in the last few months, but at the same time I’m okay with it. Looking through older photos after she passed, I started to realize how much weight she had lost over the last few months. She acted healthy, but there were warning signs that were missed.
Make the most of your time with your pet(s). You never know what can happen to them.
RIP Duck: 1/31/13 – 10/9/15